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TAIWAN COMMITS TO BUY U.S. WHEAT AT STATE CAPITOL CEREMONY

by ND Wheat

Posted on 9/15/2017

North Dakota Wheat Commission Chairman David Clough and Lt. Governor Brent Sanford today joined members of a Taiwanese agricultural trade delegation in signing a joint statement demonstrating Taiwan's intent to purchase 66 million bushels of U.S. wheat valued at about $576 million. The signing ceremony was held in Memorial Hall at the State Capitol.

Taiwan intends to purchase the wheat in 2018 and 2019. Members of the trade delegation included representatives of the Taiwan Flour Mills Association, which provides collective buying and shipping services for all 20 flour mills in Taiwan. Also participating in the trade mission were officials from leading Taiwan flour mills and Bo-Yuan Chen, director of the U.S. Wheat Associates' (USW) Taipei office.

Taiwan is on average the sixth largest market for U.S. wheat, purchasing 38 million bushels each year in recent years. Hard red spring wheat (HRS), of which North Dakota is the largest producer, makes up more than half of the exports and Taiwan is typically the third largest export market for this class of wheat. The country also makes significant purchases of hard red winter and white wheat.

"The United States has a commanding market share in Taiwan, accounting for nearly 80 percent of all wheat imported into the country," Clough said, "significant HRS imports reflect a need for strong gluten flour for breads, rolls and frozen dough products as well as for blending with other classes of wheat. Taiwan is committed to purchasing high quality wheat, and as producers, we are committed to growing wheat that meets their needs." This commitment has been demonstrated through more than 50 years of wheat trade between the two countries. USW opened their office in Taipei in 1966 and works with end users and importers to help them strengthen relationships with the U.S. wheat industry and provides customer and technical service to millers and bakers.

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 visited South Central Grain in Sterling to get a first-hand look at the 2017 crop.