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Wheat Commission Representatives Travel to Japan For Buyer’s Conference

Posted: Feb 06 2020

This past November two representatives from the North Dakota Wheat Commission traveled to Japan to attend a wheat buyers’ conference. Chairman Greg Svenningsen and Vice-Chair Philip Volk met with representatives from miller’s associations and multiple buying groups at the conference. 

Svenningsen says the meetings were a good opportunity to maintain a relationship that has lasted more than 60 years. “Japan has been an important market for North Dakota wheat for a long time, and we wanted to reassure the Japanese that we appreciate their business,” Svenningsen said. “Our commitment to value has always been our number one priority. They appreciate that and understand that we have a quality product, so we want to do everything we can to ensure Japan remains a lucrative market for North Dakota wheat.” 

The conference came on the heels of a new U.S.-Japan tariff agreement signed by President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in September. Svenningsen says the agreement helps put the U.S on an equal footing with other wheat exporters vying for a portion of the Japanese market. “Without the agreement, we would have been surcharged more than 40 cents per bushel and eventually been priced out of the market,” he said. “Most of the buyers and millers we work with understand the political aspects in play, but they still value our product. So it’s good to be there to reassure them we value their business, and also to hear their feedback.”

Japan is the second largest buyer of U.S. spring wheat. “North Dakota farmers can feel confident that the North Dakota Wheat Commission is working to maintain a valuable market,” Svenningsen said. “Our farmers produce some of the best wheat in the world, and we’re always working to ensure buyers know what we have to offer.”

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