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State

$52M likely in Ill. grain export sales after tour

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois agriculture officials said they're anticipating more than $52 million in export sales after a group of foreign buyers toured the state earlier this month.

Illinois Department of Agriculture acting director Bob Flider said Wednesday the Illinois Grain Tour had "extraordinary results" this year. He said the previous three tours produced a combined $25 million in sales. Flider said it indicates "strong demand" in foreign markets for Illinois grain, products and services.

The tour brought 22 foreign grain buyers to Illinois from China, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. Among the stops were a central Illinois corn and soybean farm; a Mattoon grain, oilseed and food ingredient supplier; and an ethanol plant in Hennepin.

Illinois is the country's second largest producer of corn and soybeans.

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