Agricultural exports rise in volume, value

The volume and value of Taiwan’s agricultural exports increased in the first half of this year, while the nation’s dependency on the Chinese market fell.

The volume of agricultural exports in the first six months totaled 1,098,187 tonnes, up about 5.5 percent from a year earlier, while their output value topped US$2.78 billion, rising about 17.6 percent annually, government data showed.

China in March banned imports of pineapples from Taiwan, prompting the Council of Agriculture to find other export markets.

The efforts resulted in China accounting for only 51.6 percent of Taiwan’s total fruit exports in the first six months, down from 75 percent a year earlier, the data showed.

The total export value of fresh fruits over the period inched up 0.6 percent to about US$130 million. Of that, China accounted for US$66.49 million, down 30.8 percent from last year’s US$96.04 million, the data showed.

The export value of other major agricultural products also rose during the period.

The export value of fish and fish byproducts rose 13.8 percent annually to more than US$700 million, government data showed.

The export value of cereals and cereal products rose to more than US$260 million (up 2.9 percent), followed by fruits and fruit-derived products with more than US$190 million (up 5.8 percent), flowers and seeds with more than US$110 million (up 12.9 percent), and leather products with more than US$100 million (up 11.1 percent), the data showed.

The export value of fruits to China, including wax apples, mangoes and citruses, posted declines of 27.8 to 89.7 percent, government data showed.

The only exceptions were sugar apples and jujubes, whose exports to China had risen earlier in the year, the data showed.

The value of fresh fruit exports to Japan reached US$31.03 million in the first six months, an increase of 173.1 percent from a year earlier. Fresh fruit exports to Hong Kong during the period reached US$17.8 million (up 81.2 percent), followed by South Korea with US$4.16 million (up 37.1 percent), Singapore with US$3.85 million (up 16.3 percent) and the US with US$1.08 million (up 10.6 percent), the data showed.

The US for the first time became the No. 2 importer of Taiwan’s agricultural products, after China, council data showed.

Agricultural exports to the US in the first six months totaled US$425 million, a 40 percent increase from a year earlier, the data showed.

In addition to moth orchids, one of the US’ major imports from Taiwan, the country has also imported more ingredients for hand-shaken drinks, such as cassava and tapioca, the data showed.

In the first six months, about 8,550 tonnes of cassava and tapioca were sold to the US, rising 103.7 percent from a year earlier and generating a revenue of US$14 million, council data showed.

The US also imported 2,666 tonnes of sugar and related products from Taiwan, as well as 1,166 tonnes of tea leaves, up 69.4 percent and 56 percent respectively on an annual basis, making the US the top destination for Taiwan’s tea products, the data showed.

Similar growth was recorded in exports to Germany and France, the council said.

Exports of tapioca and tea leaf products to Germany in the first six months surged 487.2 percent and 408.8 percent respectively, earning revenue of US$1.05 million and US$1.98 million respectively, the data showed.


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