TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The head of Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture (COA) Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) announced good news for Taiwan’s agriculture industry on Tuesday (Oct. 22) with news that exports to Singapore from January to September increased by 8.2 percent over the same period in 2018.
Exports of Taiwanese rice to the Singapore market, in particular, have more than doubled over the last year. According to Chen, Taiwanese agriculture exports to Singapore in 2019 so far amount to US$72.58 million (NT$2.22 billion).
Things look even better for next year according to COA projections, because in June of this year Taiwan was determined to be a country entirely free of foot and mouth disease among its livestock population. After submitting the official quarantine management report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Taiwan looks set to see a major boost in pork exports next year.
According to UDN, the COA chief just returned to Taiwan after a visit to Singapore where he attended the grand opening of a new Eccellente grocery location by HAO Mart which featured a special “Taiwan Agricultural Product” zone. While Chen was in Singapore, the COA also arranged to sign a major purchase order for Taiwanese rice with the Sheng Siong supermarket group (昇菘集團).
Chen also said that after the initial foot and mouth disease outbreak among pig populations in 1997, Taiwan is on track to be designated as a disease-free pork producer by the OIE by May 2020. According to UDN, Singapore food suppliers are already discussing pork purchases from Taiwan suppliers.
As a pork producer in Asia that has not been impacted by the outbreak of African Swine Fever this year, Taiwan is already gaining attention as a safe pork suppler, and the expected declaration from the OIE regarding foot and mouth disease will likely boost demand for Taiwanese pork across the region in the years ahead.
Chen emphasized however that the government will continue to watch and regulate the market to ensure there are no rapid or destabilizing fluctuations in pork prices. Other nations that are likely to increase purchases of Taiwanese agricultural products next year are Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam.