Taiwan Commits to Buy 62.5 Million Bushels of U.S. Wheat
Date Posted: September 12, 2013
Bismarck—Gov. Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota Wheat Commission Chairman Francis Leiphon joined members of a Taiwanese agricultural trade delegation Sept. 11 in signing a joint statement demonstrating Taiwan's intent to purchase 62.5 million bushels of U.S. wheat valued at about $485 million.
The signing ceremony was held in Memorial Hall at the State Capitol.
"North Dakota is a top producer of 14 major commodities, including spring wheat," Dalrymple said.
"For years, Taiwan has been an important market for North Dakota wheat growers and we appreciate their loyalty. This relationship will remain important in our on-going efforts to expand our export sales and grow our economy."
Taiwan intends to purchase the wheat in 2014 and 2015.
Members of the trade delegation included representatives of the Taiwan Flour Mills Association, which provides collective buying and shipping services for all 26 flour mills in Taiwan.
Also participating in the trade mission were officials from leading Taiwan flour mills and Ron Lu, director of the U.S. Wheat Associates' (USW) Taipei office Lu and USW are responsible for sustaining and growing the market in Taiwan on behalf of U.S. wheat growers.
USW is the overseas marketing arm of the North Dakota Wheat Commission.
Taiwan is consistently among the top three export markets for U.S. hard red spring wheat, the predominate class of wheat produced by North Dakota farmers.
Spring wheat accounts for more than half of Taiwan's total annual purchases of all classes of U.S. wheat, which presently averages more than 30 million bushels.
"The United States has a commanding market share in Taiwan, accounting for nearly 85 percent of all wheat imported into the country," Leiphon said.
"U.S. Wheat Associates continues to work with the Taiwan Flour Mills Association to educate and train millers and bakers about using high quality U.S. wheat to meet their needs and the needs of the end users. It is this type of effort that has built demand for spring wheat in Taiwan which has continued to grow over the last 50 years."
The delegation was in Washington, D.C. prior to coming to North Dakota and also signed a letter of intent with U.S. Wheat Associates.
They will travel to Montana and Idaho following their North Dakota visit.
Following meetings at the Capitol today, the group met with key legislative leaders in North Dakota, farm group leaders and they will visit South Central Grain in Sterling to get a first-hand look at the 2013 crop.
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