The American Soybean Association (ASA) has signed a Joint Communiqué with Taiwanese grain and oilseed buyers that describes Taiwan’s intentions to purchase 3 million to 3.2 million metric tons (equivalent to 110 to 118 million bushels) of U.S. soybeans during 2010 and 2011.

The value of this purchase is estimated to be worth between $1.35 billion and $1.44 billion.

"Taiwan is buying from the United States because we can reliably provide them with both the quality and the quantity of soybeans they need," said ASA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Censky, who signed the Joint Communiqué on behalf of the ASA. "We are very pleased to strengthen the relationship between U.S. soybean producers and our customers in Taiwan because they have been an extremely good trading partner for U.S. farmers."

The Joint Communiqué was signed at the Office of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon between the Taiwan Feed Industry Association, Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers’ Association and the Republic of China (Taiwan), and the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association and the United States of America. ASA First Vice-President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio, participated in a similar signing ceremony with Taiwanese grain and oilseed buyers in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 24.

Ms. Hsiu-Lan Lee, Senior Manager at the American Soybean Association International Marketing (ASA-IM) also participated in the ceremony. The ASA opened its Taipei office in 1970.

"The Taiwan government organized this mission to remind U.S. political leaders and the public that Taiwan is an important customer of U.S. agricultural products," Censky said. "U.S. soybean growers and their customers in Taiwan have shared a beneficial business relationship for many years, and today’s ceremony solidifies everyone’s intent to maintain that relationship in the years ahead."

Taiwan has the highest soybean per capita consumption in the world and was the fifth largest buyer of U.S. soybeans last year with purchases of $952 million. It is also the sixth largest market for U.S. agricultural products. The 24 million people in Taiwan purchased $3.4 billion in grains, meats and a wide variety of U.S. products last year.

The visit to Missouri was coordinated by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Development Office (TECO) of Kansas City. This office basically carries-out the duties of a consular office. Because the U.S. has adopted a One-China Policy, the Taiwanese consular offices have been named Taipei Economic and Cultural Development Offices. The Taiwan Goodwill Buyers’ Missions are scheduled every other year.