LINCOLN – On Tuesday, Sept. 24, Governor Pete Ricketts and representatives from Nebraska’s corn and soybean boards signed letters of intent (LOIs) with company officials from Taiwan. The LOIs outline Taiwan’s agreement to purchase more than $2.1 billion in U.S. soybeans, corn, and distillers grains. Members of the 2019 Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission visited Lincoln to show their continued willingness to buy U.S. agricultural products.
“The United States supplies more than one-quarter of Taiwan’s major agricultural imports, and Nebraska has been a key supplier to the country for decades,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Signing these letters of intent builds on Nebraska’s existing trade relationship with Taiwan. It also positions us to grow the market for our quality agricultural products in Taiwan.”
“Nebraska is one of the country’s top corn and soybean producing states, making it vital for us to continue to increase international demand for our products,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman. “Taiwanese officials have signed similar agreements in past years that have resulted in millions of dollars of purchases of Nebraska agricultural products.”
Two letters of intent were signed this week. One outlines the Taiwan Feed Industry Association’s intent to purchase 197 million bushels of U.S. corn and 0.5 million metric tons of U.S. distillers grains with solubles in 2020 and 2021. These products are valued at approximately $1.1 billion. According to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service, in 2018, Taiwan was Nebraska’s fifth largest export market for corn. Out of Nebraska’s total corn export value of nearly $1.5 billion for 2018, Nebraska sent $70.2 million worth of corn to Taiwan. David Bruntz, Chair of the Nebraska Corn Board, was on hand Tuesday night to sign the letter of intent on behalf of Nebraska corn farmers.
A second letter outlines the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association’s intent to purchase between 96 million and 97 million bushels of U.S. soybeans over the next two years. That purchase represents an estimated value of $1.0 to $1.1 billion. Eugene Goering, Vice Chair of the Nebraska Soybean Board, signed the letter of intent representing soybean farmers in the state.
Signed by commodity officials and Gov. Ricketts, these letters of intent pledge the purchase of crops through negotiations between importers and private suppliers.
“The signing of these agreements with our Taiwanese partners is of critical importance,” said Gov. Ricketts. “The international marketplace is vital to growing opportunities for the quality commodities produced here in our state. We will continue to work to open up new markets for the food our farm and ranch families grow to feed the world.”