US Barley Health Claim Gaining Ground in Japan

Barley Mission Japan

In an important win for U.S. barley producers, Japan has indicated that in the next year it will allow heart healthy labeling of food products containing high beta-glucan barley. U.S. research findings have documented heart-healthy attributes of high beta-glucan barley -- such as reduced cholesterol and lowering the risk of coronary heart disease -- and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recognized these claims since 2006.

US-Japan Struggle to Bridge Gaps on Agricultural Market Access

U.S. and Japanese negotiators finished three intensive days of talks in Tokyo this week without reaching any substantive agreement to resolve differences on automobile issues and access to agricultural products as part of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. At issue is the U.S. effort to secure concessions to liberalize access to Japan's declared sensitive products—rice, wheat, barley, beef, pork, dairy products and sugar.

Strengthening Ties: Japanese Corn Outlook Conference

Japan Outlook Conference

In 2012/2013 corn marketing year, some of the top markets for U.S. corn, including Japan, were forced to diversify sourcing due to a tight supply of U.S. corn. The good news, according to buyer feedback from the U.S. Grains Council's annual Japanese Corn Outlook Conference in Tokyo, is that the U.S. corn market share in Japan will likely rebound to 60-70 percent in early 2014.

US Corn and Barley: Bright Future in Japan

Things are looking up for U.S. corn and barley in Japan.

According to a U.S. Grains Council contact, the U.S. corn market share in Japan will likely rebound to 60 to 70 percent in early 2014 — a significant improvement from 2012.

Council programming promotes the United States as a long-term, reliable supplier of high-quality corn and helps to reinvigorate the strong U.S.-Japan agricultural ties.

First Four Months of US Corn Exports, Outstanding Sales Outpaces Previous Year’s Total

U.S. Corn Exports and Outstanding Sales Chart

This week's U.S. Grains Council Chart of the Week shows that U.S. exports and outstanding sales in the first several months of the current corn marketing year have more than doubled since the same time period of the previous year and have already exceeded the accumulated total sales of the 2012/2013 marketing year.

The Next Two Years Crucial for Promotion of Food Barley in Japan

The Next Two Years Crucial for Promotion of Food Barley in Japan

By: Tommy Hamamoto, U.S. Grains Council Director in Japan

Japanese consumers are among the world's most health-conscious and make an excellent audience for information about the value and benefits of U.S. barley as a food ingredient. For more than four years, the U.S. Grains Council has been promoting beta-glucan barley as a heart healthy food ingredient, since U.S. research found beta-glucan barley to have properties that may lower cholesterol.

Jumping High Hurdles: US White Sorghum in Japan

White sorghum Japan

By: Tommy Hamamoto, U.S. Grains Council director in Japan

White sorghum, currently a niche market in Japan, is a beneficial flour ingredient for those with allergies to wheat gluten. While awareness is growing, however, white sorghum has yet to be fully recognized by Japanese customers as a food ingredient.

The U.S. Grains Council recognized this hurdle and began coordinating a multi-dimensional promotional effort in food uses of sorghum.

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