FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, U.S. — Seventeen grain buyers from Honduras, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Trinidad, and the U.S. attended the Advanced Grain Procurement Strategies Short Course, which ran from May 14-18 at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) in Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.  Eleven participants were sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates.

The course is designed for global grain buyers who want to gain a competitive edge in grain marketing decisions to better manage price and quality risks. Trading and tendering games, case studies involving real world situations, and panel discussions give participants practical experience in applying what they have learned. The group also toured the Alton Grain Terminal, Hillsboro, North Dakota, U.S., to learn how their shuttle train facility operates.

“As agriculture continues to evolve around the world, it creates a lot of uncertainty in the grain markets,” said John Crabtree, NCI assistant director, who coordinates the NCI short courses.  “From this course, grain merchandisers learn various price risk management tools that they can use to minimize market volatility. Companies need to assess their risk management program and to know how much risk they can financially accept. At this year’s course, I am happy to report that we had a number of participants who are repeat customers from other courses.  That is a strong testament to the quality of the course,” he concludes.

William Wilson, Ph.D., NDSU Distinguished Professor of Agribusiness and Applied Economics and an expert in commodity futures trading, led the course. Additional speakers included: David Bullock, Ph.D., AgriBank, FCB; Dan Endreson, CHS Inc.; Mike Krueger, The Money Farm; Jim Peterson, North Dakota Wheat Commission; and Nabil Amra, U.S. Bank-Minneapolis.

Lecture topics included changes in agriculture trade and evolving global supply chains; basis analysis; hedging and contracting; integrating options; Value-at-Risk; logistics pricing; inventories as risk management strategy; currency exchange risk management; risk management policy; current grain situation and outlook; and buyer/seller relations.