Soybeans and other U.S. agricultural exports enjoy an excellent reputation in Taiwan. Since 1998, more than thirteen Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Missions have been sent to the U.S., resulting in the importation of more than 1.5 billion bushels of soybeans, valued at over $15.1 billion. (Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)
Taiwan Trade Growth Signals Promising Opportunity for Soybean Farmers, Consumers
September 20, 2022 | Brock Johnston
Ankeny, Iowa – The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), powered by the soy checkoff, and the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association (TVOA) today signed a letter of intent to maintain strong U.S. agricultural exports to the region into 2023-24. As one of the largest international markets for U.S. soybeans, the understanding marks an important milestone in fostering trade opportunities that ensure the continued profitability of Iowa’s soybean farmers and delivery of high-quality soy around the world.
Held at the Iowa State Capitol, the ceremony welcomed delegates from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office of Chicago (TECO) led by Taiwan’s Deputy Ministry of Agriculture Chin-Cheng Huang. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and representatives from ISA, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Economic Development Authority and other Iowa-based agriculture and commercial entities were also present for the signing.
Under the variable agreement, TVOA will purchase between 96 million and 107 million bushels of U.S. soybeans between 2023 and 2024. This equates to an estimated value between $1.9 billion and $2.1 billion in export sales.
“Trade is a continued priority for Iowa farmers,” says ISA President Randy Miller, a soybean farmer from Lacona. “More than 60 percent of the U.S. soybean crop is exported globally each year, meaning our ability to maintain existing global markets and expand new ones is critical to the continued success of our state’s soybean farmers and the industry.”
The region’s appetite for U.S. agricultural products, including high-quality soy, continues to grow overall. In 2021, Taiwan imported more than 51 million bushels of U.S. soybeans, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS). In total, Taiwan imported $3.9 billion worth of American farm products in 2021, making it fourth largest market on a per capita basis among the top 10 U.S. agricultural export destinations and seventh largest market for U.S. soybeans.
“Global soybean demand is up more than 236% since 1990, largely due to the work by our soybean organizations and international marketing export programs over the last 30 years,” says Grant Kimberley, ISA senior director of market development. “Iowa’s soybean growers value their longstanding relationship with Taiwan and look forward to continuing cooperative trade relations and friendship in the future.”
Funded by the soybean checkoff
The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) is “Driven To Deliver” increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 15,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.