Taiwan to buy corn, soybeans
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 12:23 AM Kentucky Press News Service
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday announced an agreement between Taiwan and Kentucky farmers to increase corn and soybean exports to the island nation over the next two years.
"These agreements between Kentucky farmers and the Republic of China (Taiwan) will allow Kentucky to capitalize on one of our nation’s great trade partners," Beshear said in a statement. "Kentucky exports already support more than 125,000 jobs statewide, and I am excited to have the opportunity to extend that success to our farmers with each of these trade organization commitments in Taiwan."
In 2009, Kentucky’s annual farm receipts totaled $4.3 billion. Today, that number is hovering around $6 billion.
Beshear traveled to Taiwan in April during his trade mission to Asia. In Taiwan, Beshear met with Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou and other government dignitaries to further explore trade and investment opportunities.
During Tuesday’s event at the Governor’s Mansion, representatives from Kentucky and Taiwan in both the corn and soybean industries joined Beshear to officially sign Letters of Intent for future purchases of U.S. farm products.
The Taiwan Feed Industry Association has agreed to purchase 197 million bushels of corn at a cost of more than $1.2 billion. The Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association will be purchasing approximately 100 million bushels of soybeans valued at $1.1-$1.2 billion. These combined purchases over the next two years will be beneficial to corn and soybean growers in Kentucky and across the U.S.
Last year, the state exported $27.5 billion in products to more than 190 countries, the fourth consecutive year of record growth.
In 2014, Taiwan ranked as the seventh largest market for U.S. corn exports and fifth in the U.S. soybean market.
Taiwan imported more than $3.5 billion in U.S. farm products in 2014. Taiwan has imported more than $9 billion in corn and more than $10.5 billion in soybeans from the U.S. since 1998.
"Taiwan is an important buyer of U.S. coarse grains and co-products, including corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles," said Kentucky Corn Growers Association President Russel Schwenke. "By having the Taiwanese Agricultural Goodwill Mission visit our state, we are strengthening trade ties and helping to maintain the well-established partnership between the United States and Taiwan."