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Taiwanese inaugurate new soybean building with promise to buy U.S. beans and corn

Agriculture.com Staff 09/29/2009 @ 8:19am

From the outside, the entrance to the Iowa Soybean Association's new $7.4 million headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa looks like a 55,000-bushel grain bin. It's really a three-story atrium, where just four hours after the Association's staff had finished their weekend move into new offices, a trade delegation from Taiwan was busy signing letters of intent to buy corn and soybeans.

Taiwan is the fourth biggest U.S. export market for both of those crops. Monday, the delegation pledged to purchase between 303 million and 413 million bushels of corn and 110 to 118 million bushels of soybeans in 2010-11. The total value for purchases of both crops is estimated between $3 billion and $3.8 billion.

"I'm happy to tell you we have a great soybean crop coming into the bins," the Iowa Soybean Association CEO Kirk Leeds told the group.

The agreement isn't an actual sale. That will take place later between grain companies and end users in Taiwan, but Leeds told Agriculture Online that the letters of intent are close to the amount of grain purchased by Taiwan from the U.S. in the past two years.

From the outside, the entrance to the Iowa Soybean Association's new $7.4 million headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa looks like a 55,000-bushel grain bin. It's really a three-story atrium, where just four hours after the Association's staff had finished their weekend move into new offices, a trade delegation from Taiwan was busy signing letters of intent to buy corn and soybeans.

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