June 27, 2016
AMARILLO, Texas – The Texas Wheat Producers Board (TWPB) welcomed a team of flour milling executives from Africa as they began their multi-state tour of the U.S. wheat industry June 12-15 in Corpus Christi. The milling executives from South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana and were accompanied by U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) staff from Cape Town, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria.
As the amount of wheat trade to the African continent continues to rise, the team of influential individuals came to Texas to learn more about U.S. wheat production and marketing systems, in the hope of importing more U.S. wheat to their respective countries.
Ken Davis, a board member of both the TWPB and USW said it was important these buyers visit Texas export facilities. Davis shared his experience in a radio interview with Agribusiness Director James Hunt at KGNC 710 AM, Amarillo, Texas, following the trip. The interview can be found at http://kgncnewsnow.com/meeting-with-the-customers/.
These countries “are our largest buyers of wheat out of the United States,” Davis said. “The volume of wheat they consume is essentially the production of Texas and Oklahoma.”
While in Corpus Christi, the team visited with Texas wheat farmers and export elevator professionals, while also receiving guided tours of important export facilities, including looking at grain currently in storage at the Port of Corpus Christi.
Davis said the major product purchased by these African countries is U.S. hard red winter wheat, which is one of the primary classes of wheat produced in Texas, because of its consistent quality and nutritious value.
“They’re looking for quality wheat, wheat with high protein and good test weight,” Davis said. “But, they also buy a lot of low-quality wheat from other countries like Russia and use our higher-quality wheat to blend with it into a usable product.”
Davis said these types of international interactions are vital for not just the U.S. economy, but for Texas wheat producers’ bottom line.
“All of the wheat that these countries procure out of the U.S. is shipped from the Texas Gulf,” Davis said. “I can’t express how important these buyers are for Texas agriculture. In the U.S., we have to export 50 percent of the wheat produced every year because we can’t use it all.”
The TWPB in partnership with USW hopes the team’s visit to the U.S. will result in more U.S. and Texas wheat exports to the African continent for years to come.
For more background information and current market trends in countries represented by the African Trade Team, visit the USW website at www.usw.org and the Texas Wheat website at www.texaswheat.org.
The Texas Wheat Producers Board is a statewide board funded by a voluntary two cents per bushel checkoff program. Checkoff funds are used for research, market development and education to further the wheat industry in Texas and support the profitability of wheat producers. For more information, visit http://www.texaswheat.org.