Market News & Headlines >> Taiwanese Groups Agree to Buy U.S. Grain and Soybeans

A delegation of Taiwanese buyers signed agreements with U.S. grain industry representatives on Wednesday to purchase about $3 billion worth of U.S. grain and oilseeds through 2017, U.S. industry organizations said on Thursday.

Representatives from the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association, Taiwan Feed Industry Association, Taiwan Flour Millers Association and others signed the letters of intent in a ceremony in Washington, DC, on Wednesday before traveling to key farm states.

The news had little market impact as the deals signed during the biennial Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission are not binding purchase agreements, although they are expected to eventually translate into U.S. export sales.

The Taiwanese delegation agreed to buy about 5 million metric tons of corn and 500,000 metric tons of corn co-products such as distillers dried grains, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said in a release. The delegation also agreed to buy 1.7 million metric tons of U.S. wheat valued at $544 million, Amanda Spoo, spokeswoman for U.S. Wheat Associates (USWA), a trade development organization, told Reuters News Service

The volume and value of the soybean purchase agreements was not immediately available. Taiwan was the sixth largest overseas buyer of U.S. corn and soybeans in 2014-15 and the seventh largest U.S. wheat buyer, according to USDA statistics.

After the signing, the members of the Taiwanese delegation left on a tour of the U.S. Midwest, where they are meeting with government officials, farmers, agriculture groups and other important international organizations in Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota, the USGC said.

The flour millers are continuing their part of the mission with visits to Kansas, Montana and Washington to meet with state wheat commission and government representatives before returning to Taiwan Sept. 23, according to USWA.