Gov. Ricketts announces new trade agreement

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach announced Taiwanese trade officials will be signing letters of intent with Nebraska to purchase more than $405 million in corn, soybeans, wheat, beef, pork, and distiller’s grains.

“Taiwan has historically been a very important trade partner with our state,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Signing these letters builds on an existing trade relationship for the coming years.  It also can provide us with the opportunity to build new relationships and foster additional export sales in Taiwan.”

In past years, Taiwan officials have signed several other similar agreements that have resulted in millions of dollars of purchases of Nebraska agricultural products.

“As one of the top corn, soybeans, and wheat producing states in the country, it is vital for Nebraska to continue to increase international demand for our products,” said NDA Director Ibach.  “Being able to export products such as beef, pork, and distiller’s grains is a great example of how we can bring our farmers and ranchers added value to the products they produce.”

Ibach will be leading a Nebraska trade team to Taiwan, August 14-19, 2016 where the letters of intent will be officially signed.  One letter outlines intent to purchase the following approximate amount of Nebraska commodities over the next two years:  

  • 20.2 million bushels to 23.9 million bushels of hard red winter wheat valued at $115 million to $135 million
  • 19.7 million bushels to 23.6 million bushels of corn valued at $100 million to $120 million
  • 77.2 million bushels to 86.7 million bushels of soybeans valued at $101 million to $113 million
  • 77,000 tons of distiller’s grains valued at $14 million

This first letter will be signed by representatives of the Taiwan Feed Industry Association; The Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers’ Association; the Taiwan Flour Mills Association; Ibach on behalf of the state; and Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson on behalf of the commodity boards.

A second letter of intent outlines intent to purchase the following approximate amount of Nebraska commodities over the next two years:

  • 1,100 tons to 2,200 tons of pork and pork products valued at $2.3 million to $4.6 million
  • 2,100 tons to 2,550 tons of beef and beef products valued at $15.2 million to $18.6 million

This second letter will be signed by representatives of the Taiwan Frozen Meat Packers Association, Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei, Ibach, and Nelson.

While signed by industry officials and a Nebraska government leader, the agreements pledge the purchase of crops through negotiations between importers and private suppliers.

“The signing of these agreements with our Taiwanese partners is of critical importance,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau President Nelson.  “The international market place is vital to growing demand for the commodities produced on our farms and ranches, especially in the current environment of depressed prices for almost all of the products we produce.  These agreements are a step in the right direction to help boost profitability for Nebraska’s farm and ranch families.”

Joining Ibach and Nelson as members of the Nebraska trade team to Taiwan are Von Johnson, board member, Nebraska Wheat Board; Richard Shrunk, board member, Nebraska Beef Council; and Stan Garbacz, NDA Trade Representative.

While in Taiwan, the delegation will participate in promotional events and meet with government officials and users of Nebraska exports.  The group plans to discuss opportunities to grow the Taiwanese market and gain greater market access.