Trade mission yields new deal with Taiwan for Nebraska grain

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Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013 12:00 am

Nebraska officials on an Asian trade mission said Friday they have secured agreements from Taiwan for the purchase of up to $472 million of grain over the next two years, a pact similar to two earlier ones.

Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann said on a conference call from Taiwan that the agreement is with that country’s ag trade associations for the purchase over two years of as much as 1 million metric tons of corn, 600,000 metric tons of wheat and 220,000 metric tons of soybeans.

“Throughout this visit we’ve been told by the Taiwanese that they appreciate Nebraska’s efforts to develop meaningful connections with government leaders, importers and other business leaders,” Heidemann said. “They also continue to point out that they enjoy knowing Nebraska will deliver high-quality commodities.”

Heidemann said the sales will be between private Nebraska companies and private Taiwanese companies that are members of the nation’s flour, vegetable oil and animal-feed trade associations.

The new agreement follows ones reached in 2007 and 2010, which were each for about $500million of grain.

Nebraska in 2011 produced about 40 million metric tons of corn, about 1.7 million of winter wheat and about 7 million of soybeans. That means the Taiwan purchase agreements amount to about one-fortieth of a single year’s corn crop, about a third of the wheat production and about 3 percent of the soybeans.

“This is good news for Nebraska,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “This agreement shows the value of developing and fostering relationships when it comes to trade opportunities.”

Taiwan is Nebraska’s 13th-largest export market with $94 million worth of trade in 2012. The country ranked 10th for agricultural exports from Nebraska.

Heidemann is currently leading the Nebraska trade mission to Asia, with the next stop in Japan, a major market for Nebraska beef. He and the other members of the Nebraska trade delegation are scheduled to participate in the annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference in Tokyo.

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