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Illinois to sell corn and soybeans to Taiwan

Deal signed will last until 2017

By Diego Flammini,

The state of Illinois and country of Taiwan have reached an agreement that will see the Asian country purchase corn and soybeans from Illinois for the next two years.

Corn and soybeans

"We thank Taiwan for their continued support of the state's agriculture industry," said Governor Bruce Rauner.  "Agriculture helps our state secure a strong position in the global economy.  We look forward to a long, continued relationship with our friends from Taiwan so that together we can help feed the world."

A letter of intent was signed by The Taiwan Vegetable Manufacturers Association that will see up to 107 million bushels of soybeans purchased in 2016 and 2017, valued between $1.13 and $1.26 billion.

The Taiwan Feed Industry Association signed its own letter of intent to buy 197 million bushels of corn and 0.5 million metric tons of corn co-products. The total value is estimated at $1.23 billion.

"The United States remains one of Taiwan's largest sources of agricultural products, regularly supplying one-fourth of our overall agricultural imports," said Deputy Minister, Council of Agriculture, Mr. Chen-taung Wang.  "As of 2014, Taiwan was the seventh-largest market for U.S. agricultural products worldwide, making it one of the world's largest consumers of U.S. farm goods on a per-capita basis. Taiwan also ranks as the seventh-largest market for U.S. corn and the fifth-largest market for U.S. soybeans."

In 2014, Illinois produced 548 million bushels of soybeans, good enough for best in the nation and a record high for the state. Corn came in at 2.35 million bushels, which was 2nd in the United Sates and broke the record of 2.28 million bushels set in 2007.

The announcement of the corn and soybean deals with Taiwan and Illinois come shortly after Idaho announced a Taiwanese delegation would sign a two-year wheat deal worth $544 million.

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