While Hoosier grain farmers may feel the downside effects of a trade dispute with China, they’re also celebrating trade with another international partner. Directors of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council have signed an agreement to sell millions of metric tons of corn and soybeans to Taiwan in a deal worth more than $2 billion.
The Taiwan Feed Industry Association agreed to buy 5 million metric tons, or about 197 million bushels of corn and 500,000 metric tons of corn co-products, such as distillers dried grains with solubles. DDGs are left over from the production of ethanol and are used as cattle feed.
“We thank the delegation from Taiwan for coming here, recognizing the quality of the crops that we grow and signing this agreement. We hope to work with them for many years to come,” said Mike Beard, a farmer from Frankfort and president of the ICMC.
During the same ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse, the Taiwanese Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association signed an agreement to buy nearly three million metric ton of soy. That equates to about 97 million bushels of soybeans.
Each of the agreements are valued at approximately $1 billion.
“With all of the challenges farmers have faced in 2019, we are very happy to sign this Letter of Intent with this delegation from Taiwan,” said David Rodibaugh, who farms near Rensselaer and serves as vice chair of the ISA. “We’ve had a long-standing, good relationship with Taiwan. We intend to keep it strong by providing them a quality product.”
Taiwan agrees, calling Indiana grain “high quality.”
“The U.S. remains one of Taiwan’s largest sources of agricultural products, supplying more than one-quarter of the country’s major agricultural imports,” said Dr. Junne-Jih Chen, Taiwan Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister. “We are here to demonstrate Taiwan’s continued willingness to purchase U.S. soybeans, and our determination and dedication to promote bilateral agricultural cooperation.”
Madison County farmer Josh Miller, who is also a board director for the ICMC, says it’s not only quality but dependability that customers like Taiwan enjoy.
"We can have a container of DDGS or corn products, and soy products to Taiwan in 17 days from our western ports (in the Pacific Northwest). So we have good quality, we have shipping methods, we have good logistical systems," said Miller.
The agreements are for delivery of the grain over the next two years.
Josh Miller, board director for the ICMC, says grain quality, location and dependability is a recipe for success for Indiana grain farrmers.