[ST. PAUL, MN], Sept. 27. 2018 – Hosted by Governor Mark Dayton today at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence, Taiwanese trade officials and business leaders signed a letter of intent to purchase millions of metric tons of soybeans from farmers in Minnesota and Iowa over the next two years.  The Taiwanese Agricultural Trade Goodwill delegation plans to purchase up to $1.56 billion of Midwestern soybeans in 2018 and 2019.  Taiwan is Minnesota's sixth-largest export market, and a key trading partner for the state's agricultural products.

"Minnesota's trade relations with countries around the world, including Taiwan, are critical to helping our farmers sell their products in the global marketplace,” said Governor Dayton.  “With the USDA predicting the largest U.S. soybean crop ever, these export opportunities are vitally important.”

The Taiwanese delegation, led by Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association Chairman Mr. Yau-Kuen Hung, plans to purchase between 3.2 million and 3.9 million metric tons of soybeans between 2018 and 2019, valued at an estimated pledged maximum of $1.56 billion.  Taiwan is a growing consumer of vegetable oils.  Soybean oil accounts for more than 50 percent of the overall vegetable oil market.

"The U.S remains one of Taiwan

 's largest trade partners for agricultural products,” said Chairman Hung.  “The Goodwill Mission plays an important role in strengthening the trade relations between our countries and ensuring Taiwan is able to purchase high quality soybeans grown in Minnesota.”

“We have worked hard to establish relationships with the people of Taiwan,” said Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson.  “Those relationships are paying off in the form of market opportunities for Minnesota’s farmers which are critically important given our current ag economy.”

This afternoon’s visit is the result of a recent trade mission by Minnesota agriculture officials to Taiwan last month, and meetings with Chairman Mr. Yau-Kuen Hung. 

Taiwan and Minnesota have a strong history of agricultural trade agreements.  In January 2013, Commissioner Frederickson led a mission to Taiwan to personally extend an invitation to the 2013 Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission to visit Minnesota and sign letters of intent to purchase soybeans.  Goodwill Missions have been organized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1998.

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