Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring today unveiled a new export enhancement program that helps North Dakota exporters of agricultural commodities increase sales while minimizing their risk.
“The Ag Commodity Export Enhancement Program is a tool for commodity exporters to facilitate export sales to foreign buyers,” said Goehring at a news conference Tuesday, in West Fargo. “It authorizes Bank of North Dakota (BND) to work with the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) to provide insurance coverage of not less than 90 percent on bulk commodity sales as well as processed ag product transactions.”
The North Dakota Industrial Commission, which oversees Bank of North Dakota (BND), approved the new program last month. The commission is chaired by Gov. Jack Dalrymple and includes Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem
“This partnership between the U.S. Export-Import Bank, BND and our local lenders will help expand the opportunities to export North Dakota commodities and processed ag products,” commission members said in a joint statement. “With this partnership we can improve credit terms for qualified foreign buyers and help minimize risk for our exporters.”
Goehring said the new program is being implemented at an opportune time when the need for agricultural exports is growing.
“Planted acres in North Dakota for corn, soybeans and wheat are at record-breaking or at near record levels this year,” he said. “This new program will help us move more of these commodities into export channels.”
Bulk commodities and food-grade, value-added ag products are allowed under the program. The minimum transaction is $200,000.
Goehring encouraged North Dakota agricultural commodity exporters who wish to use the program to first contact their North Dakota lender. The lender will in turn contact BND for information and a preliminary quote.
“At that time, the referring lender will advise BND if it wishes to participate in the loan and at what level,” Goehring said. “North Dakota lenders are encouraged to participate, but BND can proceed without participation of another lender.”
Goehring said the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) played an important role in the development of the program.
“Due to their close working relationship with BND, Ex-Im Bank and North Dakota exporters, the North Dakota Trade Office worked with all parties to expand the Export Enhancement Program to include financing commodities through BND,” said Dean Gorder, NDTO executive director. “This loan program will allow our exporters to remain competitive in the global marketplace by offering financing to their buyers.”
Eric Hardmeyer, president of BND, said the program also supports community-based financial institutions by enabling them to play a key role in the state’s growing export economy, and he urged them to consider involvement in the new program.
“This new financing avenue helps fill a gap for ag commodity exporters in the state,” Hardmeyer said. “We invite community banks to participate in these loans if they are interested in doing so.”