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U.S. Grains Council: Japan earthquakes, tsunamis could hamper grain trade


The devastating earthquakes and tsunamis that struck Japan on Friday likely will impact grain trade, according to initial reports from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). Japan’s agricultural facilities and production areas likely were significantly damaged, although the extent of the damage wasn’t known as of late Friday, the council said.

“Some ports in northern Japan, Kushiro, Hachinohe, Ishinomaki and Kashima, were hit by the tsunami, [and] we’ve heard some feed mills and livestock operations have also been damaged by the tsunami,” said Tommy Hamamoto, USGC’s director in Japan, in a prepared statement. “It is too early to tell what effect this will have on Japan’s agricultural sector, but it could be of significance.”

The council values its 50-plus-year agricultural partnership with Japan and “stands ready to work side-by-side as you respond and work through recovery,” said USGC President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Dorr.

“We extend our most heartfelt wishes to our loyal customers, staff and all the people of Japan in this time of crisis,” he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/14/2011