Mexican delegation signs letter of intent to purchase Illinois grain

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is hosting members of a Mexican trade delegation in Springfield as part of a goodwill mission designed to advance a long-standing trade relationship.

During a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Tuesday, the seven-member delegation from the state of Guanajuato expressed a desire to purchase Illinois grain in the near future by signing a letter of intent with the IDOA.

“Illinois agriculture is an export-dependent industry,” IDOA Director Tom Jennings said. “We ship 44 percent of our grain out of the country and are looking forward to establishing a long-standing friendship with the state of Guanajuato.”

In 2009, Mexico and Latin America purchased $737 million of agricultural products from the state of Illinois.  Last year, Illinois was the seventh-largest exporter of agricultural products to Mexico and Latin America.

In October, IDOA hosted a grain tour to give buyers from El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Peru a firsthand look at Illinois’ vast grain production and distribution capabilities.

As a result of that reverse trade mission, the delegation from the state of Guanajuato returned to the state of Illinois for a three-day visit.  Members

also are scheduled to visit a grain elevator in Lowder, an ethanol production company in Hennepin and the Chicago Board of Trade during their trip to cultivate future opportunities for trade.