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U.S. Wheat Thanks Japanese Customers

by Staff
Capital Press, April 28, 2006

(Elaine Shein) Last week, the ship Rubin Stella loaded with wheat in Portland bound for Japan, according to the Merchant Exchange of Portland. Japan is the U.S.'s largest wheat customer, averaging 3 million metric tonnes per year. By April 13, Japan had already purchased more than 3.1 MMT. By mid-April, U.S. wheat exports reached more than 25 MMT, about 4 percent behind last year's year-to-date purchases, according to the U.S. Wheat Associates. Japanese buyers of U.S. wheat were thanked for half a century of trust, friendship and mutually beneficial business relations in a recent ceremony in Tokyo.

Those participating included U.S. Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer; U.S. Wheat Associates chairman Boyd Schwieder; MAFF Food Policy Bureau Director General Masaaki Okajima and Masataka Horikawa, president of the Flour Mills Association.

The ceremony was timed for April, the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Wheat Marketing office in Japan. It was originally established by the Oregon Wheat Growers League, one of the early wheat organizations.

At the time, wheat products weren't part of the Japanese diet, Okajimi said. Projects like the kitchen bus, school lunch and bread baking technical seminars contributed to the Japanese wheat food promotion.

Horikawa recalled many years of collaborative technical work focusing on how U.S. Wheat worked intensively to address Japan's needs.

Japan is the top U.S. wheat customer, annually purchasing about 3 million metric tons.

Related Pages:
Navigation Tonnage Summary by Commodity, data compiled from Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District

U.S. Wheat Thanks Japanese Customers
Capital Press, April 28, 2006

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