Taiwan’s agricultural exports increased 9.8 percent year on year to a two-decade high of US$5.47 billion in 2018, according to the Council of Agriculture Feb. 16.
Of the country’s four major export categories, three chalked up rises: crops, 16.2 percent to US$2.59 billion; aquatic products, 7.1 percent to US$1.93 billion; and forestry products, 2.1 percent to US$93.79 million. Livestock declined 0.6 percent to US$846.38 million.
The biggest mover in crops was fresh fruit, up 29.5 percent to US$134.75 million. The record figure was attributed by the COA to double-digit growth in shipments of bananas, custard apples, mangoes and pineapples.
Vegetables also fared well, gaining 8.5 percent to US$163.17 million, with broccoli, cabbage, carrot and green soybean shipments all establishing new export value benchmarks. Green soybeans accounted for 44.3 percent of Japan’s imports, continuing the 11-year run of Taiwan as the Northeast Asian country’s No.1 supplier.
Taiwan’s top-three major export destination rankings remained unchanged: China, 23.2 percent or US$1.27 billion; Japan, 16.9 percent or US$922.72 million; and the U.S., 10.3 percent or US$564.8 million.
Export destinations posting the three highest growth rates are Saudi Arabia, 52 percent to US$18.31 million; New Zealand, 35.7 percent to US$10.94 million; and the Philippines, 29.8 percent to US$96.55 million
The strong showing was attributed by the COA to public and private sector efforts aimed at encouraging primary producers to adopt high-value animal and plant varieties, improving farming techniques and removing trade barriers in major overseas markets.
Equally important was the staging of workshops on enhancing cost and pest controls, as well as implementing growing season regulation, in conjunction with related agencies and local farmer associations.
Another factor cited by the COA was the effectiveness of promotional tie-ups with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). A total of 31 joint events were staged in markets such as Canada, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.S., further boosting the global image and reputation of the country’s fresh produce. (SFC-E)
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