Representatives from the Taiwan Flour Millers Association have signed letters of intent to purchase wheat and other American grown commodities over the next two years. The millers are part of a biennial Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission. The wheat delegation members made stops this summer in Oregon, Washington and Idaho before traveling back to D.C. for government event. This year’s goodwill mission wrapped up with stops in Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Mr. Yi-Chuen “Tony” Shu, Executive Director of TFMA and President of Formosa Oilseed Processing Co., Ltd., the parent company of Top Foods Flour Mills, signed the wheat letter of intent along with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson. The letter states that TFMA intends to purchase a total of 1.8 million metric tons (equivalent to 66.1 million bushels) of U.S. wheat between 2020 and 2021. The value of these purchases is estimated to be around $576 million.
“We have long had mutually beneficial trade relations with the Taiwan milling and flour products industry,” Peterson said. “U.S. wheat farmers pioneered the market more than 60 years ago by meeting with members of the developing flour milling industry.
One innovative plan involved those flour millers donating the equivalent of $1.00 for every one metric ton of imported U.S. wheat to a wheat foods foundation that eventually established what is today the China Grain Products Research & Development Institute. The members of TFMA continue to be reliable trading partners that fully recognize the value of purchasing quality U.S. grown wheat.”
Taiwan, is on average the eighth largest market for U.S. wheat. TFMA imports wheat on behalf of all 20 Taiwanese flour mills and has imported far more wheat from the United States compared to other origins. Today, the Taiwanese people consume more wheat flour per capita than rice.
Significant hard red spring (HRS) imports reflect a need for strong gluten flour for breads, rolls and frozen dough products as well as for blending with hard red winter (HRW) to make traditional Chinese flour foods and noodles. Year-to-date sales to Taiwan in marketing year 2018/19 (June to May) are up 11% from 2017/18. Imports of soft white (SW), including Western White (a blend of SW and up to 20% club), help meet growing demand for cake, cookie and pastry flours.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]