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US hog producers turn to UK and Brazil for wheat

With prices for hogs remaining low and feed costs tracking high, US hog producers are looking to the UK and Brazil for wheat, marking a departure from a long-standing American reluntance to import feed grains.


November 25, 2008
By meatingplace.om

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November 25, 2008 

Burdened by the high cost of U.S. corn and other feed grains, U.S. hog producers are turning to Britain and Brazil for their wheat supplies, Don Butler, spokesman for Murphy-Brown, the hog producing unit of Smithfield Foods, confirmed to Meatingplace.com.

Rarely does the United States, the world's largest wheat exporter, import feed grains. However, ocean freight costs have plunged to the point of making foreign wheat more economical than domestic supplies, Butler said.

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"The biggest factor is the differential between the freight rate for ocean-going cargo vessels versus the cost of rail transit to the East Coast," he told Meatingplace.com.

Shipments from the United Kingdom and Brazil are due in Wilmington, N.C., in the first week of September and more are to arrive in January and February.