|By DOUG GRAVES
CIRCLEVILLE. Ohio — Taiwanese grain buyers want to purchase 295 million bushels of corn and 95.5 million bushels of soybeans during the next two years. And farmers from Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa will be more than happy to help fill the order.
A delegation from the Taiwan Feed Grains Assoc. visited corn, soybean and dairy farms in Circleville last Friday. More importantly, the Taiwanese signed an intent to purchase hundreds of millions of dollars of Ohio corn and soybeans. Corn and soybean growers in Indiana, Missouri and Iowa stand to benefit from the purchase as well. The signing took place a day earlier at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio.
“This monumental purchase of feed grains will help put money in Ohio farmers’ pockets,” Ohio Gov. Bob Taft said. “Ohio has the means to grow products needed by the Taiwanese livestock and poultry industries, and we’re pleased they recognize this state as a major feed grain producer.”
The purchases will be negotiated privately between importers and private suppliers. The visit and purchase are the direct result of meetings in Taiwan during Taft’s October 2004 Business Mission to Taiwan.
“Taiwan is an important international customer for Ohio agriculture products,” said Ohio Agriculture Director Fred Dailey. “Every other row of soybeans and every fifth row of corn grown in Ohio is destined to be sold in the international market.”
The U.S. supplies about one-third of Taiwan’s total food import needs. Taiwan is the sixth largest export market for U.S. agriculture products, the third largest market for U.S. corn and the fifth largest market for U.S. soybeans. Ohio is the nation’s sixth-leading producer of both corn and soybeans.
“Taiwan is a small island and 23 million people live on one-third of the island because the rest is comprised of mountains,” said Paul Chen, senior consular officer at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office located in Chicago. “Taiwan depends on the supply of these crops from state in the U.S. We want to be this country’s long term customer.”
Published in the September 21, 2005 issue of Farm World.