ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. —In the 2014-15 marketing year (June to May), the southeast Asian wheat market region accounted for 20% of global U.S. wheat sales. With a strong milling industry to support it, the Philippine wheat market continues to be one of the region’s most consistent and important export markets year after year. In 2014-15, the Philippines was the third largest buyer of U.S. wheat and the second largest buyer of both soft white (SW) and hard red spring (HRS) wheat, setting a new sales record for the second year in a row.

Looking forward, the Philippine milling industry is going through transitions including an expansion of new mills and a new generation of management. Building on more than 50 years of service in the Philippines, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is playing a role in these transitions and further strengthening its relationships, including by hosting four milling industry customers on a visit to the U.S. Aug. 2 to 12.

“This is a trade team of emerging leaders that represent growing market trends in the Philippines,” said USW South Asia Assistant Regional Vice-President Joe Sowers, who is traveling with the team. “We invited participants that we think will best apply what they learn on the trip to the challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving market environment.”

USW worked with the North Dakota Wheat Commission, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Washington Grain Commission, Idaho Wheat Commission and Oregon Wheat Commission to organize this team. While visiting these states, the team will get an on-farm look at the SW, HRS and hard red winter (HRW) wheat crops, and an early report on the 2015 crop quality outlook. The trip also includes tours of wheat breeding research, shuttle and barge loading facilities and export elevators, as well as to observe activities performed by the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) to assure adherence to contracted quality specifications.

“Our purpose is to demonstrate how the quality, value and reliability of U.S. wheat and its supply chain can help these millers grow their own businesses,” said Sowers.