Response to Russian Wheat Export Dominance

Published on: 14:22PM Jun 08, 2010
In response to my post from a couple of days ago about Russia's goal of wheat export dominance, Steve Mercer of U.S. Wheat Associates writes as follows:

On behalf of U.S. Wheat Associates, news that Russia has a single desk export state trading enterprise and is willing to consider export subsidies is not welcome for U.S. wheat farmers who believe competition should be based on quality and functional utility, not administrative pricing. On their behalf, USW is strongly advocating for the elimination of the monopoly powers of any grain export STE, including Russia's. We have asked that any consideration of Russia's accession to the WTO be conditioned on the elimination of their ESTE and any export subsidies. This is a priority issue for us and for the global competitiveness of U.S. wheat. Also, we continue to serve at the direction of U.S. wheat growers. Some quick examples include:
·Bringing a team of Egyptian officials that manage grain purchasing, food safety, and other agencies to the U.S. this month to meet with U.S. officials, learn more about our grain inspection and price discovery systems as well as to get an early look at crop quality;
·Recent buyers conferences with, and face-to-face trade service visits to Middle Eastern and North African grain buyers, including Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia;
·U.S. wheat is often not the low-cost supply, so we emphasize quality, choice, and our reliable supply to importers;
·USW is actively informing our customers that U.S. wheat currently offers excellent value

I think there are several good comments in this response and I hope the effort of U.S. Wheat Associates and other organizations like it will help increase our exports, but sometimes the bottom line is that wherever the crop is the cheapest, that is where the buyer will go. We shall see over the next few months how the decrease in the euro and increase in the dollar affects our exports, but it is nice to see the efforts of Steve and his group.

We appreciate all of the comments that you make, and I try to use them in a post whenever I can.