Many Northwest Exporters Unable to Meet Contract Commitments
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Along with numerous other producers growers of peas, lentils, and chickpeas here in the Northwest are also being adversely affected by port congestion problems caused by the labor disputes between the PMA and the ILWU. Pete Klaiber, Vice President of Marketing for the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council says that the delays are definitely having an impact on pulse crops.
KLAIBER: This is a major shipping period for us. We have processors and exporters who are unable to meet their contract commitments and so contracts are having to be renegotiated and in some cases contracts have been cancelled by the buyers because of our in ability to get the cargos on board a ship in a timely way.
Klaiber says that they have joined other ag industry leaders in requesting federal intervention.
KLAIBER: We've certainly reached out to Congress, to the Executive Branch etc, and said you know we need some pressure here to see if we can't find a resolution to this problem, and we hope that that will work, but other than that there's really not too much you can do. I think people are looking at alternatives in terms of if they can ship out of the Gulf for instance in certain cases, but we're not a crop that's got high profit margins and so we're running on tight margins and when you increase the shipping costs, both in terms of rail down to the Gulf instead of to the West coast and then in terms of longer shipping routes it's probably not going to pencil out in most cases.
According to Klaiber 70 to 75 percent of the U.S. pea and lentil crop is exported to foreign buyers.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.