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Issue #592

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2014 Media Kit

Japan issues surprise tender to buy Canadian wheat

By: | at 08:48 PM | Liner Shipping  

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture has issued a surprise tender to purchase a total of 162,011 tonnes of Canadian Western Red Spring wheat as it looks to negate the impact of possible future shipping delays, a government official said on Friday.

The supplementary tender is to offset any delays caused by a possible increase in activity at Canadian ports due to bumper harvests or by winter weather, and does not mark a change in Japan’s wheat buying procedures, the farm ministry official said.

Japan, the world’s sixth-biggest wheat importer, typically buys five grades of food-quality wheat from Australia, Canada and United States, including the Western Red Spring variety, via tenders usually issued three times a month that close on Thursdays.

The surprise tender, which is asking for several times more than the 20,000-30,000 tonnes purchased in the mostly weekly regular tenders, will close next Tuesday.

The official said Japan had also ramped up its Canadian wheat purchases around this time in past years to create ample stocks in case shipments across the Pacific Ocean were delayed.

Japan keeps a tight grip on imports of the country’s second most important staple after rice and buys the majority of the grain for milling via tenders.

In a separate regular tender that closed late on Thursday, the farm ministry bought a total of 161,200 tonnes of food quality wheat. The ministry purchased four cargoes of Western Red Spring, instead of its normal one or two, the official said.

Details are as follows (in tonnes):

COUNTRY TYPE QUANTITY

U.S. Western White 22,012*

(protein maximum 10.5 pct)

Canada Western Red Spring 29,958**

(protein minimum 12.5 pct)

Western Red Spring 24,810**

(protein minimum 12.5 pct)

Western Red Spring 25,887**

(protein minimum 12.5 pct)

Western Red Spring 25,583**

(protein minimum 12.5 pct)

Australia Standard White 32,950*

Shipments: *Loading between Jan 16 and Feb 15., **Arrival by March 31.

Source: Ministry of Agriculture