BOISE, IDAHO, U.S. — The Taiwan Flour Mills Association on Sept. 24 signed a letter of intent to purchase U.S. wheat over the next two years in a deal valued at $576 million. The wheat will be sourced from Idaho.
Governor Brad Little of Idaho made the announcement alongside representatives of the Idaho Wheat Commission (IWC) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle.
“Taiwan is our second-largest export market overall and an important trade partner for Idaho,” Little said, adding that he will bring a delegation of Idaho companies with him to Taiwan for his first trade mission in October. “Taiwan is a loyal customer for our Idaho wheat growers, who proudly produce a high-quality, consistent product.”
The Taiwan Flour Mills Association is in the United States as part of an agricultural goodwill mission. The agency said it intends to purchase 1.8 million tonnes of wheat, or about 66.1 million bushels, from the United States between 2020 and 2021.
“The Taiwan flour millers choose Idaho wheat because of the high-quality we produce and the identity preservation of the wheat available from our state,” said Ned Moon, chairman of the IWC. “We are also able to consistently deliver within the shipment timelines, thanks to the Columbia-Snake River system.”
Blaine Jacobson, executive director of the IWC, added, “This two-year agreement highlights the strong relationship between Idaho wheat growers and their customers in Taiwan. It is a pleasure to host our international friends around the state and here in Boise and visit their countries to see how Idaho wheat is used in various food products.”
Taiwan imported nearly $4.3 billion worth of U.S. farm products in 2018. The country is the fifth-largest market for U.S. wheat.
The announcement came a day after the Taiwan Feed Industry Association (TFIA) signed an agreement with the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council to buy corn and soybeans from Indiana.
In total, the TFIA agreed to buy 5 million tonnes, or approximately 197 million bushels of corn and 500,000 tonnes of corn co-products, such as distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGs), between 2020 and 2021.
On the soybean side, the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association intends to buy between 2.6 million tonnes to 2.9 million tonnes, equivalent to 96 million bushels to 97 million bushels, of soybeans in 2020 and 2021.