INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 3, 2015) — The Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance recently signed Memorandums of Understanding with the China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products signifying their commitment to strengthen the relationship between Indiana agriculture and the Chinese market.

The memorandums were signed at the conclusion of a 12-day trade visit to China led by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann to promote trade opportunities for Indiana agricultural products. ICMC President Dennis Maple and ISA President David Lowe joined 16 other State and private sector agriculture leaders on the trip.          

“China is a key market for Hoosier soybean farmers because of their desire for the high-quality agricultural products Indiana farmers excel at producing,” said Lowe, a farmer from Dunkirk, Ind. “China’s appetite for soybeans is significant, and there are no signs that consumption will slow any time soon. In fact, they remain the world’s number one soybean importer and the top export customer of American soybean farmers.”

China’s total soybean consumption is expected to top three billion bushels this year. Last year, they imported a record 1.1 billion bushels from the United States. Hoosier soybean farmers export over $2 billion in soybeans and soybean meal each year.

Even though there has been a slowdown in U.S. corn exports to China, the country continues to be a strong consumer of Dried Distiller’s Grains with Solubles (DDGS). In fact, China was the number one importer of U.S. DDGS last year. Annually, Indiana’s corn farmers export more than $410 million of corn.

“Indiana corn farmers are committed to promoting trade opportunities with China,” said Maple, a farmer from Greentown, Ind. “This is truly a win-win situation for both countries. We are excited to share information about the high value of Indiana agricultural innovation and research and how our high-quality corn products can meet their import needs.”

The trip included visits with national and provincial government and agriculture leaders to promote trade opportunities for Indiana agricultural products. Special activities also celebrated Indiana’s sister-state relationship with Zhejiang Province and an Indiana booth showcasing Hoosier grown products at the Beijing Food Exhibition.

“There are extraordinary opportunities to expand both the variety and volume of Indiana agricultural products exported to China,” said Lt. Gov. Ellspermann. “The country is a vast, newly developing consumer market ready for more choices of foods and other commodities that the Indiana agriculture industry can provide.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos from the signing are available upon request.

The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, grain marketing, aquaculture, new soybean uses, and research. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 800 dues-paying members. Visit www.indianasoybean.com for more information.

The Indiana Corn Marketing Council was established by the Indiana General Assembly to promote the interest of corn growers in the state and manage corn checkoff funds. The Council is composed of 17 voting producer directors and seven appointed industry, and government representatives. For more information, visit www.incorn.org.