A delegation of wheat importers from Peru visited Colorado to familiarize team members with the Colorado wheat crop situation, in particular hard red winter (HRW) wheat and to develop a thorough understanding of the U.S. wheat marketing system.

Peru, located in South America, has a population of 27 million people and is approximately three times the size of California. Peru's total wheat imports have consistently increased in the last decade, reaching 1.29 million metric tons in 2000, compared with 1.25 MMT in 1999 and the 1.13 MMT average of the previous seven years.

The volume of wheat exports to Peru from the United States typically depends on the size of the Argentine crop. Peru imported a total of 418,000 metric tons (15.4 million bushels of wheat from the U.S. during the 2000-2001 marketing year. Of that total, 286,200 metric tons (10.5 million bushels) was HRW wheat.

Consumption habits are slowly, but steadily changing. Bread consumption remains fairly low, at 84 pounds per capita per year (compared to 148 pounds in the U.S.) and annual per capita cookie and cracker consumption is only five pounds per year.

Due to its comparative low cost as a source of energy, pasta and noodles also are present in most Peruvian diets. As a result of the large Asian population in Peru, there is a large demand for Chinese noodles. This is reflected in a high per capita consumption of 21 pounds per year for pasta and noodles.

The Peruvian Wheat Trade Mission was composed of four executive officers responsible for importing wheat for their respective mills and a representative of U.S. Wheat Associates (USWA), Santiago. The team members represented 60% of total Peruvian wheat imports.

The Peruvian Wheat Trade Mission visit to Colorado was organized to help the delegation obtain confidence in the quality of Colorado and U.S. HRW wheat and enhance the competitive position of U.S. origin wheats versus other regional suppliers.

While in Colorado, the Peruvian Wheat Trade Mission toured the Cargill unit train loading facility, in Byers, and the George Cronk wheat farm, located northwest of Bennett. Briefings were conducted by CoBank of Englewood concerning the GSM export credit guarantee program and by the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee (CWAC) regarding the current wheat market situation and quality.

The sponsorship of foreign trade teams is a cooperative effort between CWAC and USWA to expand export markets for Colorado and U.S. produced wheat. CWAC is a member state organization of USWA, the export market development organization representing Colorado and U.S. wheat producers.

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