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Taiwan Makes Record Corn Import Commitment

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo
Corn is piled beside a grain elevator during the 2015 harvest. Export markets provide a destination for surplus corn and Taiwan has committed to buying a record amount this year.

As farmers prepare to start the harvest, they have a fresh commitment from one of the leading importers of corn and dried distiller's grains.

A delegation from Taiwan recently visited Iowa and promised to buy 197 million bushels of corn and a half-million tons of dried distiller's grains.

"This represents roughly 20 percent of the US export of corn," says Atalissa farmer Mark Heckman, who met with the Taiwanese visitors and serves on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. "From a distiller's grains purchasers (perspective), they're number 1 now that China is not in this market."

Heckman adds the two nations enjoy a strong, longstanding relationship that dates back to 1998.

"That's probably the biggest sense that I got out of this delegation was their commitment to us and our commitment to them," Heckman says. "They had concern about the trade relation and all the other talk and the rhetoric that's going on, but they wanted us to know that they very much wanted our product."

Heckman says the Taiwanese commitment also reassures Iowa farmers of a stable export destination for some of their surplus. 

Amy Mayer is a reporter based in Ames