Purchasing Seminar focusing on freight, other key issues

by Eric Schroeder
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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, U.S. — Volatile cash wheat markets, the worsening transportation crisis and the roiling political environment in Washington will be areas of heightened focus at the 2018 Purchasing Seminar.

The seminar, the 41st sponsored by Sosland Publishing Co., will be held June 3-5 at the Sheraton Kansas City hotel at Crown Center.

With supplies of milling quality hard wheat tight this year, cash wheat premiums surged to the highest levels in years. The cash basis alone has accounted for upward of a third of the cost of hard wheat flour over much of the 2017-18 crop year (the basis often accounts for less than 10% of the cost), heightening the importance of keeping abreast of cash wheat developments. Challenges procuring high quality hard wheat are expected to extend into the next crop year. 

Following the “Bakery flour and global grain outlook,” to be presented by Steve Freed, vice-president of research at ADM Investor Services, Inc., presentations on each of the wheat classes will be delivered. Leading off the panel will be William E. Krueger, president and chief executive officer of Lansing Trade Group, who will discuss hard red winter wheat. He will be followed by Carl Schwinke, vice-president of grain supply, Siemer Milling Co., soft wheat; Roger Baker, wheat product line manager, CHS, Inc., spring wheat; and Tyson Giles, executive vice-president, Mayco Export, durum. In addition, wheat quality and flour quality issues will be broadly addressed in a presentation by Dave Green, executive vice-president of the Wheat Quality Council.

Reviewing the worsening transportation challenges across the United States will be Jim Ritchie, president and chief executive officer of Redstone Logistics, LLC.  Ritchie will offer background on tightness in the transportation market and rising freight rates, offering recommendations of steps to take and to avoid and a forecast of when relief might be expected.

Presenting electoral, policy prospects for 2018 will be David Von Drehle, a columnist for The Washington Post. Von Drehle writes about national affairs and politics in columns twice a week for the Post. Before taking his current position in 2017, Mr. Von Drehle spent a decade at Time magazine, where he wrote more than 60 cover stories as editor-at-large.

Josh Sosland
L. Joshua Sosland, president, Sosland Publishing Company

“Purchasing in 2018 is anything but ‘business as usual,’ and this year’s Purchasing Seminar will help ensure purchasing executives are fully prepared for the challenges they will encounter in the year ahead,” said L. Joshua Sosland, president, Sosland Publishing Company.

Other presenters during the 2018 seminar include, Matt Beeson, Beeson & Associations, Inc., market fundamentals; Ankush Bhandari, The Gavilon Group LLC, feed grains and millfeed; Craig Ruffolo, McKeany-Flavell Co., sweeteners; Drew Lerner, World Weather, Inc., weather; Paul Meyers, Foresight Commodity Services, Inc., shortening; Mary Keough Ledman, RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness, dairy; Brant Matthews, McCormick & Co., Inc., spices; Christine McCracken, Rabobank, poultry and pork; Chris Morley, Global Risk Management Corp., risk management; Richard Broad, Bender-Goodman Co., Inc., eggs; Hugo van der Goes, Barry Callebaut, cocoa; Steve Nugent, Milne Fruit Products, Inc., fruit; Don Close, Rabo AgriFinance, beef; Kellee James, Mercaris, organic ingredients market update; Tim Statts, Schneider Electric, energy; and Scott Colbert, Commerce Trust Co., economy.

The seminar will feature two panel discussions. A grains panel will be moderated by Hayden Wands, Bimbo Bakeries USA, and will include Beeson, Freed, Meyers and Mike O’Dea of INTL FCStone. A shortening panel will be moderated by Brian Harris of Global Risk Management Corp. and will feature Beeson, Freed, Meyers and Dave Reeble, Moving Parts, LLC.

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