September 25, 2017
Trade mission pledge cements rebound of US corn imports to Taiwan
A Taiwanese agricultural trade mission pledged to buy 5 million tonnes of US corn and 500,000 tonnes of US distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) between 2018 and 2019, affirming the rebound of US corn sales to this long-term trading partner.
Taiwan imports nearly all its local feed demand, primarily for swine and poultry. In the 1990s, Taiwan imported more than 6 million tonnes of corn per year. However, a disease in 1997 caused a steep decline in pork production and feed grain demand.
Corn imports rebounded as the market recovered, and so did US corn market share until drought conditions in 2012 limited supplies and spurred competition from countries like Brazil, according to the US Grains Council (USGC).
Today, the market has again rallied, with US corn capturing 89% of Taiwan's corn imports in the 2016-2017 marketing year (September-June), up dramatically from 28% in the previous marketing year, according to the USGC.
With 2.91 million tonnes sold from September 2016 to July 2017, these sales are the highest in the last seven marketing years, making Taiwan the fifth-largest market for US corn. Taiwan also ranks as the third largest buyer of US barley in 2016-2017.
The US also accounts for 95% of the DDGS imported by Taiwan. Almost all large feed mills in Taiwan currently use DDGS, but typically at extremely conservative inclusion rates. As a result, the Council is working with local nutritionists to better formulate diets to optimise caloric and nutritional efficiency using US DDGS.
Taiwan bought nearly 240,000 tonnes of US DDGS thus far in the 2016-2017 marketing year, a 23% increase year-on-year.
Clover Chang, the USGC director in Taiwan said, "The Council works to help improve efficiency in Taiwan's domestic meat, milk and egg production, instill confidence in US feed grains and co-products and ensure no disruption in the trade between the two countries".