Members of the 2019 Taiwan Agricultural Goodwill Mission visited Washington, D.C., this week as part of their biennial pledge to continue purchasing U.S. corn and U.S. dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) between 2020 and 2021.
Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday committing to purchase 5 million metric tons (197 million bu.) of U.S. corn and 500,000 tons of U.S. DDGS, extending their stable buying commitment for another two years. The signing ceremony was held at the U.S. Capitol.
The members of the goodwill 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 U.S.
Taiwan has grown into a top 10 market for U.S. corn -- a goal achieved with the support of the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) work with the feed and livestock industries there since 1973.
The Taiwan Economic & Cultural Representative Office has organized the mission every other year since 1998. It allows Taiwanese participants to gain familiarity with the yield, production and quality of U.S. coarse grains. The goodwill mission also provides education on the advantages of U.S. coarse grains and co-products as well as reconfirms the commitment by the U.S. to serve as a long-term, reliable supplier for Taiwan.
“The recurring goodwill mission continues to demonstrate the commitment the two partners have to continued purchases and heightened confidence in U.S. agricultural products,” USGC chairman Darren Armstrong said. “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.”
Armstrong participated in the Wednesday signing ceremony on behalf of USGC and U.S. corn and DDGS producers.
The delegation from Taiwan was also honored at a reception in Washington on Tuesday with government officials and representatives of the agriculture industry that was sponsored jointly by USGC, U.S. Wheat Associates, the U.S. Soybean Export Council and other agricultural trade associations.
While in the U.S., the Taiwanese representatives will visit Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Nebraska and will sign additional purchasing memoranda with each state. During their travels, participants will tour farms and elevators, meet with local producers, agricultural groups and policy-makers and learn about the U.S. agricultural value chain.
Taiwan is the eighth-largest market for U.S. agricultural products, led by U.S. grains, with a total value of $4.3 billion in 2018. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Taiwan purchased 3.21 million metric tons (126 million bu.) of U.S. corn at a value of $593 million in 2018, with U.S. corn holding a 76% market share.