Leaders from Taiwan's Feed Industry Association have signed a formal letter of intent this week announcing plans to purchase from 7.7 million metric tons to as much as 10.5 million tons of U.S. corn and a half to three-quarters of a million tons 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 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," Vinduska 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 billion 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 tons of U.S. soybeans and 1.7 million tons 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 tons of U.S. corn in the 2010/2011 market year.