Bloomington, ILL – September 23, 2022 – Today, the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and other Illinois commodity groups signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Taiwan that will enable closer cooperation in global trade facilitation.
This signing follows a recent announcement from the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association (TVOA) that it intends to purchase between 2.6 million and 2.9 million MT (equivalent to between 96 million and 107 million bushels) of United States soybeans between 2023 and 2024. The value of these purchases is estimated to be $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion in U.S. funds.
“The signing of the MOU signifies a step towards global trade security,” said ISA Chairman, Steve Pitstick. “And it reinforces ISA’s commitment to maintain the security of international supply chains, while facilitating legitimate trade relationships.”
In 2021, the total value of U.S. agricultural and related products exported to Taiwan reached $3.94 billion, making it the seventh largest market for U.S. agricultural exports. The U.S. supplies about 27 percent of Taiwan’s agricultural imports.
The MOU, which will work to create an agreement that advances the interest of Illinois’ farmers, seeks to support and grow the Illinois ag economy with more robust trade opportunities with Taiwan.
“We value the opportunity for transparency and cooperation because trade is vital to Illinois’ 43,000 soybean producers,” Pitstick said. “Roughly 60 percent of the nearly 672 million bushels of the soybeans grown in Illinois are exported, resulting in an estimated $4-5 billion in value. The MOU signed today further strengthens the unique relationship between Illinois soybean farmers and the Taiwanese, and we are looking forward to working together to support world trade.”
Continues Pitstick, “We have great respect for Taiwan’s expertise and role in this important trade relationship. Illinois soybean farmers continue to learn from our global partners about the evolving preferences and high standards to which our products are measured. We endeavor to exceed those expectations.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development and utilization efforts while the membership program supports the government relations interests of Illinois soybean farmers at the local, state, and national level, through the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG). ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean producers through promotion, advocacy, and education with the vision of becoming a market leader in sustainable soybean production and profitability. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org and www.ilsoygrowers.com.