Colombian wheat buyers observe Montana marketing system

For wheat buyers from Colombia, purchasing large quantities of commodities demands serious consideration and education.  U.S. Wheat Associates and the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee are adding value to that process by bringing a team of Colombian grain buyers to the United States. Five executives from Colombia will visit North Dakota, Montana and Louisiana July 24 to 30, to gain a better understanding of the U.S. wheat industry and renew their familiarity with the advantages of the U.S wheat marketing system.

 “This team represents the major flour, cookie and pasta groups in Colombia. They are experienced buyers and account for 40 percent of the country’s wheat imports in 2015,” said USW Assistant Regional Director Osvaldo Seco, who is leading the team. “They are directly responsible for evaluating and importing wheat for their organizations, and this trip will put them directly in contact with traders and for better information about their purchasing decisions.”

With funding from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, USW collaborated with the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee to organize and host this trade team.

Colombia was the top destination for U.S. wheat in South America in marketing year 2015/16 (June to May), importing over 670,000 metric tons from four of the six U.S. wheat classes. The United States has typically supplied more than half of Colombia’s 1.4 million metric tons of annual wheat imports, in what is considered a very competitive market. USW staff in its South American Region office in Santiago, Chile, has a history of providing technical performance information with Colombian millers and buyers to improve product quality using U.S. wheat.

The team will visit Great Falls, and tour the State Grain Lab, Pasta Montana, General Mills, and Columbia Grain. They will also have the unique opportunity to visit several farms in the area and experience harvest firsthand.

 “Colombia is a top destination for U.S. hard red winter, and this team is great representation of the Colombian industry,” said Collin Watters, MWBC Executive Director. “This is a wonderful opportunity to show buyers the hard work and dedication it takes to bring a crop from field to port. This is all part of the effort to expand and welcome more export markets for Montana’s wheat.”

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