WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — As part of a 2019 Taiwan biennial agricultural goodwill mission, members pledged to continue purchasing U.S. corn and U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) between 2020 and 2021.
Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding on Sept. 18 committing to purchase 5 million tonnes (197 million bushels) of U.S. corn and 500,000 tonnes of U.S. DDGS, extending Taiwan’s buying commitment for another two years. The signing ceremony was held at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“The recurring goodwill mission continues to demonstrate the commitment the two partners have to continued purchases and heightened confidence in U.S. agricultural products,” said Darren Armstrong, chairman of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). “The programs we’ve worked on together have allowed the Council and our partners in Taiwan to develop the agricultural industries and improve the lives of all our citizens. We are very thankful to continue this healthy trading relationship with Taiwan.”
The members of the mission also signed letters of intent to purchase soybeans and wheat. The team is part of a long-term effort to maintain economic ties between Taiwan and the United States.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Taiwan purchased 3.21 million tonnes (126 million bushels) of U.S. corn at a value of $593 million in 2018, with U.S. corn holding a 76% market share.
The goodwill mission has been organized by the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) every other year since 1998 and allows Taiwanese participants to gain familiarity with U.S. coarse grains’ yield, production and quality. The mission also provides education on the advantages of U.S. coarse grains and co-products as well as reconfirms the commitment by the United States to serve as a long-term, reliable supplier for Taiwan.
According to the USGC, Taiwan is the eighth largest market for U.S. agricultural products, led by U.S. grains, with a total value of $4.3 billion dollars in 2018.
Armstrong participated in the Sept. 18 signing ceremony on behalf of the USGC and U.S. corn and DDGS producers.
The Taiwanese delegation also was honored Sept. 17 at a reception in Washington, D.C., with government officials and representatives of the agriculture industry, sponsored jointly by the USGC, U.S. Wheat Associates, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and other agricultural trade associations.
While in the United States, the Taiwanese representatives will visit Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Nebraska. They will sign additional purchasing memoranda with each state. During their travels, participants will tour farms and elevators, meet with local producers, agriculture groups and policymakers and learn about the U.S. agricultural value chain.