ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — Eight senior managers from Nigeria’s milling and noodle/pasta manufacturing industries will visit South Dakota and Kansas June 21-27, 2015, to examine the current hard red winter (HRW) crop as part of a U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) trade team. USW believes this annual event helps maintain a loyal customer base in a traditionally large market.

Nigeria was the third largest buyer of U.S. wheat for the 2014-15 marketing year that ended on May 31, 2015, importing 76.9 million bushels (2.04 million tonnes). Year to year, Nigeria buys more U.S. HRW than any other country. Nigerian millers imported 58.4 million bushels (1.6 million tonnes) of HRW in 2014-15. They also purchased about 12.9 million bushels of soft red winter (SRW) as well as some soft white (SW) and northern durum.    

“USW and our state wheat commission member organizations built long-term demand for U.S. wheat in Nigeria by providing information and technical support,” said Muyiwa Talabi, marketing consultant with USW based in Lagos, Nigeria. “This will be our fifteenth annual trade team from Nigeria since 2001 and it is still a key part of our work in an important market where we face new challenges.”

“In an increasingly competitive market, those customers still benefit from, and appreciate, the support USW provides including the chance to see the new U.S. wheat crop and learn about its supply chain from the people who manage it,” said Gerald Theus, assistant regional manager for Sub-Saharan Africa with USW who is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Theus and Talabi will lead this trade team visit.    

USW collaborated with the South Dakota Wheat Commission, the Kansas Wheat Commission and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service to organize this trade team. In South Dakota, the team will meet with grain merchandisers and visit several farms. The team’s Kansas visit includes stops at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, USDA’s Center for Grain and Animal Health Research and IGP Institute as well as time with grain merchandisers.

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by FAS.