The Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) organized a 32-member Agriculture Trade Goodwill Mission to the United States in September 2019. The U.S. Grains Council maintains strong partnerships with Taiwanese agribusinesses and has come to be known as one of the most relevant, passionate, and trusted ambassadors for free trade between U.S. agriculture and our global customers. Based on this relationship, MOFA specially requested the Council to assist the invitation of mission members. As part of this effort, the Council used Market Access Program (MAP) funds to sponsor seven members who are leaders in the animal feed industry as part of the delegation.
The purpose of this biannual mission is to build relationships between members of the Taiwanese industry and U.S. suppliers by signing letters of intent (LOI) outlining Taiwan’s intended purchases of corn, beans, wheat and meat products from the United States during 2020 and 2021.
These LOIs demonstrate the intent of Taiwanese buyers to purchase 5.0 million tons (equivalent to 197 million bushels) of corn and 0.5 million tons of corn co-products (distiller’s dried grains with solubles, DDGS) between 2020 and 2021, valued at about $1.1 billion. The total value for all commodities included in the mission was estimated at $3.7 billion.
The LOI signing is a way of enhancing mutually beneficial agricultural trade between the United States and Taiwan. The effort is part of a partnership between the Council and related industries in Taiwan, a long-established and deeply valued customer and partner of U.S. grains.
During their time in the U.S., mission participants traveled to Washington, D.C., Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska to have face-to-face meetings with U.S. government officials, governors, legislators, grain producers and agriculture association leaders. During their travels, participants also toured farms and elevators to learn about the U.S. agricultural value chain.
The mission participants gained updated market information by discussing issues with farmers and representatives of grain companies as well as seeing firsthand crop progress, quality, and potential production loss due to weather. The information helped them evaluate market development and how to manage their positions in the marketplace.
With intense competition from other origins like Brazil and Argentina to sell more corn to Taiwan, this mission was important to continue strong relationships with those purchasing U.S. grains by demonstrating advantages with regards to service, quality, reliable inspection and supply chain management, timely and transparent market information, and the long-term friendship between the U.S. and Taiwan. The mission members reported gaining confidence in the quality of U.S. corn and the capability of the U.S. supply chain for exports.
MOFA initiated and organized this trade mission. However, the Council played a key role in helping arrange LOI signings, hosting participants, and arranging the overall program. The Council invested $70,000 in this marketing program, generating a return on investment of $15,714 per $1 of Market Access Program (MAP) funds invested.
About The U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.