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Why Australian vegetables have a competitive advantage in Taiwan

Australian produce has a competitive advantage in Taiwan, thanks to Australia’s reputation for safe, high-quality food and ability to offer counter-seasonal supply.

The value of Australian vegetable exports to Taiwan has increased 21% in 2020–21 relative to 2019–20. This is due to growing demand for premium vegetable products and short-term domestic supply constraints.

Onions (up 63%), potatoes (up 19%) and carrots (up 144%) drove the growth in export value.

Reasons for growing vegetable demand

A water shortage from late 2020 to the first half of 2021 affected Taiwan’s vegetable production. The typhoon season from mid-2021 also hit production. Lower than usual domestic supply has caused local vegetable prices to surge to new highs.

In the medium term, import growth reflects Taiwan’s:

  • highly developed economy
  • high GDP per capita (approx. $54,000 PPP)1
  • high per capita rate of expenditure on food.

Opportunities for Australian vegetable exporters

According to the USDA, Taiwan’s food and beverage sales topped US$38.8 billion in 2019. This was an increase of 1.78% as compared to 2018.

Taiwan has the second highest density of convenience stores in the world. The rapid expansion of retail outlets in recent years has given consumers greater access to food and beverage products.

Taiwanese consumers prefer safe, healthy and convenient food products. This preference will underpin high per-capita expenditure on food, with consumers valuing quality horticultural products.

Value-added vegetable products, ready-to-cook, or easy-to-prepare options may meet consumer preference for healthy and convenient food products.

Australian vegetable exports to Taiwan

In 2020–21, Taiwan was Australia’s 13th largest vegetable export market (ABS 2021).

Figure 1: Australian exports of onions, potatoes, asparagus and carrots to Taiwan

Veg_exports_to_Taiwan

Resources

Austrade has more information about the Taiwanese market.

The Manual of Importing Country Requirements has import requirements for vegetables to Taiwan.

The Australian Government’s network of Agriculture Counsellors provided information for this article. More information about the Agriculture Counsellor network, including contact details, are available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.

Taiwan Food and Drug Administration has information in English on Taiwan’s food safety regulations, including chemical residues.

Taiwan’s Bureau of Animal & Plant Health Inspection & Quarantine has information on biosecurity requirements.

Tariff rates on vegetable imports from Australia

Commodity Tariff rate
Carrots, fresh or chilled 20%
Onions, fresh or chilled 25%
Potatoes, fresh or chilled 15%
Asparagus, fresh or chilled 5%

Source: Taiwan Customs Administration

GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP allows for comparisons across countries. In 2020, Australia’s GDP per capita PPP was $52,500.

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