TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following bans and new regulations by Beijing, fresh fruit exports from Taiwan to China have fallen by half, and could drop further, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said Wednesday (Oct. 20).
Beijing first banned the import of pineapples from Taiwan in March, alleging the presence of “harmful creatures” in the fruit, before expanding its ban to wax apples and sugar apples in September.
Between January and September 2019, 80% of Taiwan’s fresh fruit found its way to China, but this year, the figure has fallen to 49.6%. The export of agricultural products to China as a whole saw only a slight decline from 2020 to this year, from 20.8% of all exports to 20.1%, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported.
Chen pointed out that China was still the No. 1 export market for fruit from Taiwan, and that for some categories of fruit, it still made up 80% to 90% of exports. He added that cutting Taiwan’s reliance on the Chinese market for those fruit varieties should still continue.
When lawmakers asked him whether Beijing might target the import of rice from Taiwan, the minister said he did not think so, as China had been plagued by natural disasters and had ordered more soybeans, corn, and other basic food from the United States and other countries. Almost half of the 200,000 metric tons of rice exported last year were shipped to China, Chen said.