The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) plans to revise its wheat import program this October by adapting so-called SBS or a Simultaneous Buy and Sell System to 200 thousand tons of wheat to be imported within a maximum current access of 5.74 tons in a year.
Under the new SBS system, Japanese flour millers will be able to import any types of wheat from trading firms in exporting countries through their direct contracts.
Wheat has been imported under the state trading system in principle. The Japanese government purchases major five types of wheat including Australian standard white under the current access commitment, and sells them to domestic flour millers.
These major types of wheat have various users. Bulk buying of the wheat has been managed by MAFF to reduce their impact on demand and supply of wheat produced in the country, which has been making it difficult for flour millers to get special quality wheat other than the major types for the purpose of meeting the needs of certain Japanese users.
With a view to promoting revitalization of flour item development by domestic manufactures, MAFF decided to make it possible for the flour millers to procure special types of wheat such as ones suitable to noodle production and low-quality ones with low prices.