By Dalton Henry, USW Vice President of Policy
Representatives from the Taiwan Flour Millers Association (TFMA) are in Washington, D.C. this week to sign letters of intent for the purchase of wheat and other U.S. grown commodities over the next two years. The trip is part of a biennial Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission that takes TFMA delegates to both D.C. and major wheat-producing states. During their trip, the delegation is also making stops in Oklahoma, South Dakota and Idaho to meet with farmers, grain handlers and state officials before returning to Taiwan.
The Republic of China, known as Taiwan, is consistently a top ten market for U.S. wheat. TFMA imports wheat on behalf of all 20 Taiwanese flour mills and has imported far more wheat from the United States compared to other origins, at an average of 1.07 million metric tons (38.9 million bushels) per year since marketing year 2014/2015.
“We have long had mutually beneficial trade relations with the Taiwan milling and flour products industry,” said Vince Peterson, USW President. “They continue to be a reliable trading partner that fully recognizes the value of purchasing quality U.S. grown wheat”
This year, a team of four flour millers is joining the delegation of association representatives.
Significant hard red spring (HRS) imports reflect a need for strong gluten flour for breads, rolls and frozen dough products as well as for blending with hard red winter (HRW) to make traditional Chinese flour foods and noodles. Year-to-date sales to Taiwan in marketing year 2018/19 (June to May) are up 11% from 2017/18. Imports of soft white (SW), including Western White (a blend of SW and up to 20% club), help meet growing demand for cake, cookie and pastry flours.