ARLINGTON, Virginia — The Taiwan Flour Mills Association (TFMA) will sign a letter of intent in Washington, DC, Sept. 10, to purchase up to 62.5 million bushels (1.7 million metric tons) of U.S. wheat, worth an estimated $484.5 million, over two years between 2014 and 2015.
The signing ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center kicks off Taiwan’s formal Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission to the United States to purchase grains and other agricultural products for the people of Taiwan. The Mission will also sign letters of intent with the U.S. Grains Council and the American Soybean Association and will call on members of the U.S. Congress and policy makers in the executive branch. TFMA will then continue its part of the Mission with visits to North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Oregon to meet with state wheat commission and government representatives before returning to Taiwan Sept. 17.
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Alan Tracy and Wei-Chang Chang, manager of Thai Ho Milling Co., Ltd., and executive director of TFMA, will co-sign the letter. Tracy said the U.S. wheat industry and Taiwan have a long history of mutually beneficial trade relations.
“Western Wheat Associates, one of the legacy organizations to USW, opened the first overseas marketing office in Taipei in 1966,” Tracy said. “Since that time, U.S. wheat farmers and Taiwan flour millers have built an enduring and successful partnership.”
Taiwan is the sixth largest market for U.S. wheat, purchasing 520 million bushels (14.2 million metric tons) since 1998, worth an estimated $3.27 billion. Significant hard red spring (HRS) imports reflects a need for strong gluten flour for breads, rolls and frozen dough products as well as for blending with hard red winter (HRW) flour to make traditional Chinese flour foods and noodles. Soft white (SW) imports, including western white, help meet growing demand for cake, cookie and pastry flours.
USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by FAS. USW maintains 17 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat.