Taiwan imports most pork from Canada, U.S. is No.4 supplier

COA stands by ban on pork with ractopamine

Taiwan's main pork supplier in 2018 was Canada.

Taiwan's main pork supplier in 2018 was Canada. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan imported most of its pork in 2018 from Canada, while insisting it will maintain a ban on the presence of the lean-meat agent ractopamine in pork despite pressure from the United States, the island’s No.4 supplier.

A delegation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited Taiwan April 22-25 and met with the Council of Agriculture (COA), the Central News Agency reported.

While as often occurs during Taiwan-U.S. trade meetings, the American side called on the opening of the Taiwanese market to pork with residues of ractopamine, the COA insisted the ban would remain in place.

In 2012, Taiwan allowed the import of beef with ractopamine, touching off protests and helping to cause a freefall in the popularity ratings of the then-Kuomintang government.

Opposition against U.S. pork is even stronger as the island is home to a considerable hog farm sector.

Taiwan imported more than 36,000 tons of pork, including frozen, chilled and canned meat, from Canada in 2018 for a total value of NT$2.14 billion (US$69.3 million), according to COA statistics.

Spain was the island’s second pork supplier, with 13,875 tons worth NT$1.43 billion, and Denmark came in at No.3, exporting 12,199 tons valued at NT$1.09 billion, CNA reported.

A total of 8,819 tons of pork originated in the U.S., bringing in NT$644 million in 2018.