Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Chairman Keith Schrader joined Gov. Mark Dayton, Taiwanese trade officials and business leaders to sign letters of intent to purchase billions of dollars of agricultural products from farmers in Minnesota and other Midwestern states over the next two years.
Schrader, along with Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Bruce Peterson, signed the letters of intent Sept. 21 in St. Paul. The Taiwanese delegation plans to purchase up to $2.49 billion worth of U.S. corn and soybeans in 2016 and 2017.
“Minnesota farmers produce the highest quality agricultural products in the world,” Gov. Dayton said. “Our trade relations around the world, including Taiwan, are crucial to ensuring that our farmers can sell their products in the global marketplace. I want to thank everyone involved, especially the corn and soybean growers of Minnesota, for their efforts to promote our state and support strong business relationship.”
Schrader said the delegation will be pleased with the soybean crop in 2015.
“Minnesota has an excellent soybean crop being harvested right now,” he said. “Early harvest indications show quality to be very good this year, which will result in a wonderful product to offer both our domestic and international partners.”
The Taiwanese delegation, led by Cheng-Taung Wang, former Deputy Minister of the Taiwan Council of Agriculture, plans to purchase between 96 million and 107 million bushels of U.S. soybean valued at an estimated $1.26 billion, and 197 million bushels of U.S. corn and 500,000 metric tons of dried distillers grains (DDGS), valued at an estimated $1.23 billion. Between corn and soybeans, the delegation plans to purchase roughly $250 million worth of corn and soybeans from Minnesota.
“The U.S. remains one of Taiwan’s largest trade partners for agricultural products, regularly supplying one-fourth of the Island’s total food import needs,” Wang said. “This visit will help to further strengthen our bilateral trade relations.”
Taiwan is Minnesota’s sixth-largest export market and a key trading partner for the state’s corn and soybean growers.