TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has downplayed the impact of China’s suspending the export of natural sand to the country following the visit of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Imported natural sand accounted for about 0.64% and 0.75%, or 450,000 and 540,000 tons, of Taiwan’s domestic demand for the past two years, respectively. Only 70,000 and 170,000 tons were sourced from China in 2020 and 2021, respectively, according to the Bureau of Mines.
The bureau added that improved dredging efforts at rivers, streams, and reservoirs mean that Taiwan is reducing its reliance on sand imports. A total of 48.85 million tons of sand and gravel is expected to be produced this year in Taiwan.
Stressing that domestic demand will not be affected by the move, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said the shortage of sand in the northern region will be met by supplies from the northeast, while the country is also looking to increase its imports from Southeast Asia.
The ban is believed part of the flurry of retaliatory measures imposed by Beijing over Pelosi’s closely watched visit to Taiwan. China has also halted the import of Taiwan’s citrus fruits, chilled white striped hairtail, and frozen horse mackerel, effective Wednesday (Aug. 3).