Taiwan signs agreements to buy $485 million of U.S. wheat

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An agricultural trade delegation from Taiwan signed an agreement to buy 62.5 million bushels, or about 1.7 million tonnes, of U.S. wheat valued at about $485 million over the next two years, the North Dakota Wheat Commission said on Wednesday.

Officials from the Taiwan Flour Mills Association, which represents 26 flour mills, delegates from other Taiwanese mills, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, and North Dakota Wheat Commission Chairman Francis Leiphon signed the letters of intent at the State Capitol in Bismarck, it said in a news release.

Letters of intent are not binding sales contracts but are traditionally honored by longtime trading partners such as Taiwan and the United States, according to grain traders. The value of the sales is estimated, since the final terms of the deals will be negotiated by private grain companies.

The wheat agreement was the latest of several signings in recent days between officials in Taiwan and the United States.

Industry officials signed purchase agreements on Tuesday to buy $4 billion in U.S. soybeans, wheat, corn and corn products.

A trade delegation from Nebraska signed similar agreements last week with importers in Taiwan to buy $400 million of the state's corn, soybeans and wheat.

North Dakota is the top U.S. spring wheat producing state and a major producer of hard red winter wheat. Taiwan is the world's third largest importer of U.S. spring wheat and among the top-10 world importers of U.S. HRW wheat.

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