Posted September 21, 2022
Kansas agricultural leaders inked a deal with a Taiwanese delegation on September 16 that will directly benefit wheat producers, thanks to a commitment to purchase 69.8 million bushels of U.S. wheat, worth approximately $567 million from U.S. farmers over the next two years.
Kansas Wheat Commission Chairman Gary Millershaski, who farms in Kearny County, signed a joint letter of intent with representatives from the Taiwan Flour Mills Association (TFMA). Through the letter, Kansas wheat farmers committed to continuing to grow high-quality wheat supplies, while importers and suppliers working in Taiwan will privately negotiate the terms, quantities, prices and conditions for the purchase and sale of wheat.
“While we may face challenges on our farms in terms of weather and market volatility, we are committed to growing the best quality wheat possible, and we will continue to be the world’s most reliable choice,” Millershaski said in remarks to the delegation. “I’m honored to sign this agreement representing Kansas wheat farmers, the largest producers of hard winter wheat in the U.S. It is meaningful to all farmers in the U.S., especially for those of us in the state of Kansas.”
Taiwan is the sixth largest U.S. wheat export market, thanks in large part to nearly six decades of work through U.S. Wheat Associates and its legacy organization to establish a long and beneficial history of cooperation between Taiwan’s flour milling industry and the U.S. wheat industry. Since first establishing a promotional office in Taipei, Taiwan has purchased more than 45 million metric tons (1.65 billion bushels) of U.S. wheat, according to U.S. Wheat Associates.
Taiwan has also sent 13 agricultural trade missions to the United States since 1998. This year’s mission included stops in Washington, D.C., for meetings with leaders from the U.S. wheat and grain industry. Following these meetings, the flour milling group visited Kansas, Idaho and Oregon for a firsthand look at U.S. wheat production and to meet the people responsible for supplying high-quality wheat to Taiwan. The trade team visit included a stop at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan, Kansas.
In addition to the intent to purchase U.S. wheat in 2023 and 2024, the Taiwanese delegation also signed Letters of Intent with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) to purchase soybeans and corn. The overall estimated commitment in the three letters totals $3.2 billion.
Together, the biennial goodwill mission showcases the economic benefits to Kansas farmers, agribusinesses and rural communities from decades of agricultural trade.
“This has been a challenging year on Kansas farms,” Millershaski said in his remarks. “We have faced an extreme drought, inflation, market volatility, and increased input costs and availability. In these uncertain times, what wheat farmers need are partners and long-term trade agreements that benefit both U.S. farmers and international wheat buyers.
“Your commitment to purchase U.S. wheat sends a strong message to our farmers that we will have a market and incentives for Kansas wheat farmers to continue to grow the best quality wheat to hold up our end of that agreement.”
Learn more about the Taiwan Goodwill Mission at https://www.uswheat.org/wheatletter/taiwan-team-signs-letter-of-intent-to-purchase-69-8-million-bushels-of-u-s-wheat/.
Written by Julia Debes for Kansas Wheat