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Bob Larson Wheat Trade Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: October 08, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. Washington wheat growers have a lot to be thankful for this year after a few down years in production with harvest numbers as much as 50 percent higher than average yields. The problem however, is still the uncertainties of foreign markets.

Scott Yates, with the Washington Grain Commission, says international exports are especially important for our growers …

YATES … “You know, we export from the Pacific Northwest, well from Washington, we export about 90 percent of our wheat and Japan is, you know, either our first, second or third largest export customer.”

But, Yates says we might have an ace in the hole …

YATES … “Yes, and soft white is a specialty wheat. We are in the catbird seat that we are not a hard-red spring, hard-red winter area. We are a specialty wheat, a soft white, and there really isn’t anything to replace it in the world. And, we are holding out hope that the Japanese cannot find a replacement and they will continue to take soft white to spite the fact that they will have to pay more, but of course we can’t foresee the future and when the price differential becomes too big countries will look for other sources.”

In the meantime, Yates says …

YATES … “So, the 2017-2018 crop year was something we really needed to heal up.”

Yates says Washington growers have spent decades building these foreign relationships so fixing them is the only option.

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