TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — While China was slapping bans on Taiwanese fruits, ranging from pineapples to wax apples and custard apples, fruit exports to other markets surged by 137% during the first half of the year, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said Wednesday (Sept. 22).
Though the Chinese ban on Taiwanese wax apples and custard apples only became effective on Monday (Sept. 20), Taiwan’s diversification of markets for its fruit exports has already shown success, according to the minister.
The 137% rise from January to June 2021 compared to the same period last year included a surge of 272% for fruit exports to Japan, CNA reported. The sale of Taiwanese fruit to South Korea rose by 53% during the first half of 2021 and to the United States by 10%.
For the first time in five years, Taiwan exported more fruit to other destinations than to China. While in 2016, 98.3% of exported pomelos ended up in China, by 2019 the proportion had dropped to 88.5% and by 2020 to 70%.
Chen said the changes not only reduced Taiwanese farmers’ reliance on the Chinese market but also introduced more consumers overseas to the rich variety of fruit from Taiwan.