WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Leaders from Taiwan’s Feed Industry Association (TFIA) signed a formal letter of intent on Sept. 20 announcing plans to purchase from 7.7 million tonnes to as much as 10.5 million tonnes (303-413 million bushels) of U.S. corn and a half to three-quarters of a million tonnes of corn co-products such as distillers dried grains and corn gluten in 2012 and 2013.

"For U.S. farmers, Taiwan is a long-established and deeply valued customer and partner," said U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Past Chairman Terry Vinduska, who signed the letter on behalf of the council at a formal ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.

"Taiwan is the sixth-largest export market for U.S. agriculture, and our fifth-largest corn market," he noted. "This letter of intent is the latest in Taiwan’s unique tradition of goodwill missions to announce its plans. It represents a promise of more than 300 million, maybe as much as 400 million bushels of corn exports."

The value of the Taiwanese corn purchase commitment is estimated to total from $2.47 to as much as $3.39 billion.

TFIA Chairman Yau-Kuen Hung represented the Taiwanese association. The delegation, which also included representatives from Taiwan’s oilseed processing association and flour millers’ association, signed similar letters outlining their intent to purchase 3 to 3.2 million tonnes (110-118 million bushels) of U.S. soybeans and 1.7 million tonnes (62 million bushels) of U.S. wheat.

After formal visits in Washington, the delegation will travel to Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa for meetings with producer groups and state officials.

Taiwan, with the second-highest per capita consumption of U.S. agricultural products in the world, imported 2.4 million tonnes (94 million bushels) of U.S. corn in the 2010-11 market year.