Japanese diets may not match those of U.S. farmers, but the push for healthy foods in Japan is creating a small and growing high-value market for U.S. food barley.
Beer is Mexico’s top agricultural export to the United States. And Mexico purchases more U.S. barley to brew that beer than from any other market.
A team of Mexican brewing industry leaders is traveling in North Dakota and Montana this week to call attention to the policy that made this mutually beneficial trading relationship possible - the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
U.S. exports of feed grains in all forms increased 33 percent year-over-year in the first six months of the 2016/2017 marketing year, according to recently published trade data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and analysis by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).
That data showed the United States exported more than 56.6 million metric tons of feed grains in all forms - a calculation that measures grain products in corn equivalent - from September 2016 to February 2017, compared to 42.5 million tons during the same time the prior marketing year.
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently released a new batch of online videos highlighting the importance of building and maintaining trading relationships and the work the Council does in grain markets around the world.
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.
The U.S. Grains Council was among more than 300 exhibitors at the recently concluded Taipei International Bakery Show in Taiwan. The Council promoted U.S. beta-glucan barley which, according to U.S. research, has heart-healthy properties to include reducing cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease.
Barley is a versatile and useful crop with applications ranging from feed and food production to beverage manufacturing. Most barley grown in the United States is intended for malting purposes because of the premium it commands.
The United States is a consistent top 10 global exporter of barley.
In the 2014/20154 marketing year (June 1 - May 31), Japan took the majority of U.S. barley, accounting for more than 66 percent of the exports.
By: Clover Chang, U.S. Grains Council Director in Taiwan
With a stable but rapidly aging population in Taiwan, healthy living is becoming increasingly important. This creates an opportunity for U.S. barley because according to U.S. research, beta-glucan found in U.S. barley has heart healthy properties, such as reducing cholesterol.
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.
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.