BOISE — Three executives from major flour milling companies in South Korea traveled to Idaho July 23 to 25 as part of a trade delegation sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates, the Idaho Wheat Commission, the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee and the Oregon Wheat Commission to learn more about the quality, value and reliability of U.S. wheat imports.
The team visited Ririe Grain & Feed Coop in Ririe, Thresher Artisan Wheat in Blackfoot, and the University of Idaho Research and Extension Center in Aberdeen. Additionally, the team toured the farms of Gordon Gallup and Clark Hamilton, both near Ririe, and visited with representatives from Lansing Trade Group in American Falls.
Korea is consistently among the top five destinations for U.S. wheat annually. In marketing year 2017-18 — June 1 to May 31 — South Korea imported 1.45 million metric tons of wheat, or almost 59 million bushels, including soft white, hard red spring, hard red winter and soft red winter wheat.
The Korean wheat foods market is developing in a way that is like the U.S. market. End-product flour specifications in Korea are becoming more complicated because consumers demand higher quality and an increasingly wide range of products.
Market and trade development is one of the three-pronged mission of the IWC. During visits by foreign trade teams, the commission provides the latest harvest, quality and export price information about the various varieties of U.S. wheat relative to Korean end-user preferences and demonstrates the factors that help ensure Korean buyers get the most value from U.S. wheat and the U.S. wheat supply system.
Team members included Bong-tai Ryu, director of the Hantop Corp.; Boong-hee Han, general manager of Daehan Flour Mills Co. Ltd.; and Shin-hyoung Park, a senior specialist with the CJ Cheiljedang Corp.