To build confidence and value in every new U.S. wheat crop, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) keeps its customers informed about supply and quality, capped by annual “Crop Quality Seminars.” Following several crop updates through virtual meetings in the first half of 2021, virtual Crop Quality seminars helped Nigerian millers adjust their purchase specifications and increase their pace of and total U.S. wheat imports in spite of unusually high, supply-related prices.
In virtual meetings with 49 managers from five major Nigerian flour mills, USW provided extensive information on U.S. wheat supply and quality factors. Each seminar included recorded video presentations on the quality of specific U.S. wheat classes produced using Market Access Program (MAP) funds. The seminars directly addressed any constraints related to customer satisfaction with the U.S. wheat marketing system.
During the seminars, USW’s team based in Cape Town, South Africa, noted that there would be production shortage of hard red spring (HRS) wheat because of a drought, and advised Nigerian millers to fulfill their high-protein wheat needs to mill bread flour early as soon as possible. USW also advised buyers that U.S. wheat farmers had produced a large and excellent quality soft red winter (SRW) crop.
This trusted, transparent advice, supported by MAP and Foreign Market Development funding, came all but exclusively from USW. Canada was the only competitor that conducted a virtual meeting with Nigerian millers. As a result, at 163,235 metric tons (MT), the HRS sales pace to Nigeria in 2021/22 was up 33% from the previous year. At 218,470 MT, SRW commercial sales were more than four times the 2020/21 total. In addition, Nigerian millers imported a record 212,000 MT of hard white wheat. Including HRW imports, Nigeria’s total U.S. wheat imports in 2021/22, including hard red winter purchases, reached more than 1.8 million MT, the most since 2014/15, and valued at more than $650 million.