Grain Buyers from Eleven Nations Attending NCI Grain Buying Course

May 17, 2011

For Immediate Release

Grain Buyers from Eleven Nations Attending NCI Grain Buying Course

Fargo, N.D., USA – Twenty-one grain buyers from Canada, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, St. Vincent, and the USA are attending the Advanced Grain Procurement Strategies Short Course at Northern Crops Institute in Fargo, N.D.

The course, which runs from May 16-20, is designed for global grain buyers who want to gain a competitive edge in grain marketing decisions to better manage price and quality risks.  Trading games, case studies involving real world situations, and panel discussions give participants practical experience in applying what they have learned. The group also tours the Alton Grain Terminal, Hillsboro, N.D., to learn how their shuttle train facility operates.

“We have seen a lot more volatility in the world marketplace over the past four or five years, not only price and quality risk, but logistics and inventory risk, too,” says John Crabtree, NCI Interim Director and short course coordinator.  “We’ve also seen major shifts in grain production.  Together, this results in a lot of uncertainty.  Today, merchandisers who are in charge of buying grain have a very complex responsibility.”            

“Through this course, we provide tools that grain buyers can use to handle some of the risks.  The tools that were helpful several years ago may not be appropriate today. It’s up to the individual to pick the right tool from the toolbox.  We will never be able to completely eliminate risk, but we can provide grain buyers with some suggestions that will be helpful in their grain purchasing decisions,” Crabtree concludes.

William Wilson, Ph.D., NDSU Distinguished Professor of Agribusiness and Applied Economics and an expert in commodity futures trading, leads the course. Additional speakers include:  David Bullock, Ph.D., FC Stone; Ryan Caffey, CHS Inc.; Mike Krueger, The Money Farm; John Oades, U.S. Wheat Associates; and Erica Olson, North Dakota Wheat Commission.

Twelve participants are sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates, and one participant is sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council and North Dakota Corn Council.

Lecture topics include changes in agriculture trade and evolving global supply chains; basis analysis; hedging and contracting; options; Value-at-Risk; logistics pricing; inventories as risk management strategy; current grain situation and outlook; wheat contract specifications; and buyer/seller relations.