BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Soybean Association and other Illinois commodity groups signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with Taiwan that will enable closer cooperation in global trade facilitation.
This signing follows a recent announcement from the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association that it intends to purchase between 2.6 million and 2.9 million metric tons — equivalent to between 96 million and 107 million bushels — of U.S. soybeans between 2023 and 2024. The value of these purchases is estimated to be $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion in U.S. funds.
“The signing of the MOU signifies a step towards global trade security, and it reinforces ISA’s commitment to maintain the security of international supply chains, while facilitating legitimate trade relationships,” said Steve Pitstick, ISA chairman.
In 2021, the total value of U.S. agricultural and related products exported to Taiwan reached $3.94 billion, making it the seventh largest market for U.S. agricultural exports. The United States supplies about 27% of Taiwan’s agricultural imports.
The MOU, which will work to create an agreement that advances the interest of Illinois’ farmers, seeks to support and grow the Illinois ag economy with more robust trade opportunities with Taiwan.
“We value the opportunity for transparency and cooperation because trade is vital to Illinois’ 43,000 soybean producers,” Pitstick said.
“Roughly 60% of the nearly 672 million bushels of the soybeans grown in Illinois are exported, resulting in an estimated $4 billion to $5 billion in value. The MOU signed today further strengthens the unique relationship between Illinois soybean farmers and the Taiwanese, and we are looking forward to working together to support world trade.
“We have great respect for Taiwan’s expertise and role in this important trade relationship. Illinois soybean farmers continue to learn from our global partners about the evolving preferences and high standards to which our products are measured. We endeavor to exceed those expectations.”