Taiwan - Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sectors
Last published date: 2020-09-25

Beef

Overview

Taiwan's beef production is negligible and relies on imports to meet demand.  The top three suppliers of imported beef, are the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.  In 2019, U.S. beef exports to Taiwan reached 64,390 metric tons, accounting for $586 million in value.  Although Taiwan's free trade agreements give its partners tariff-free access to its beef market, the United States remains the island's leading supplier of beef.

Beef Market                                                          Unit: Metric Tons

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimated)

Total Market Size

171,832

187,747

202,478

204,606

Total Local Production

7,027

7,059

7,100 (est.)

7,150

Total Exports

597

301

622

544

Total Imports

165,402

180,989

196,000

198,000

Imports from the U.S.

61,812

77,932

87,570

88,400

Exchange Rate:  USD1

29.65

30.59

30.11

30.28

Note: Figures for bovine meat are in metric tons (carcass weight equivalent).  The conversion ratio from trade data into beef carcass weight equivalent is 1:1.36.

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources: Trade Data Monitor (BICO Beef & Beef Products); Council of Agriculture

Leading Sub-Sectors

Consumer demand for U.S. beef is strong, particularly in the hotel and restaurant sector.  Australian beef generally occupies more shelf space in retail stores, except in Costco, which only carries U.S. beef.

The U.S. beef industry can supply large volumes of "Asian cuts" at prices competitive with New Zealand and Australian suppliers.  These cuts include most chuck items, short ribs, and short plate for ethnic Asian cuisines, and middle meat items for Western restaurants.  U.S. chilled beef imports of 22.6 thousand tons represented 40 percent of total U.S. exports.

Opportunities

High-end hotels and retailers tend to promote exclusive brands that meet or exceed average beef quality.  Small and medium-sized brands of high-quality U.S. beef that are USDA-certified for exports to Taiwan also perform well.  Frozen portion cut beef is gaining popularity among consumers due to easy preparation and long shelf life.

Web Resources

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:

For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@usda.gov.

Cheese

Overview

Despite the overall downturn in imports, American cheese exports remained stable at $40 million with a 28%, market share, followed by New Zealand (25 percent) and Australia (10 percent).

Cheese Market   

                                              Unit: USD thousands

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimate)

Total Market Size

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Local Production

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Exports

1,959

1,995

1,500

1,000

Total Imports

153,006

149,684

143,369

150,000

Imports from the U.S.

38,592

40,193

40,073

45,000

Exchange Rate:  USD1

29.65

30.59

30.11

30.28

Note: Annual totals estimated based on available trade data.

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Source: Trade Data Monitor (H.S. code: 0406)

Leading Sub-Sectors

Processed cheese is mainly used in the foodservice sector and accounts for approximately 42 percent of cheese imports.  Overall, the most popular and fastest-growing import varieties are cream cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar.  In the retail sector, pre-sliced cheese accounts for 65 percent of cheese sales.  Regular supermarket and retail promotions improve consumers' awareness of U.S. cheese and help them to appreciate the many ways to combine cheese with other, more traditional foods.

Opportunities

Per capita consumption of cheese in Taiwan is low compared with most Western countries and Japan.  Local chefs and consumers can benefit from additional information on the wide variety of U.S. cheese products and their potential applications.  The export growth of U.S. cheeses hinges on how well these groups can integrate cheese into a range of cuisines, as well as on the growth of prepared meal demand from convenience store chains.

Web Resources

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:

For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@usda.gov.

Coffee

Overview

As coffee-drinking culture is strongly rooted in people's daily life, coffee sales are expected to rise.  Coffee is widely available via multiple channels, including international coffee franchises and specialty coffee cafés.  Convenience stores serve coffee in paper cups 24 hours a day.

Taiwan's local coffee production is limited due to restricted arable land and relatively high labor costs.  Most locally produced coffee is consumed or purchased by visitors to coffee farms or to producing-region tourist shops.  Only a small portion of production is commercially available and is relatively expensive.  In 2019, Taiwan imported $181 million worth of roasted and green coffee beans, which accounted for approximately 40 percent and 60 percent of market share, respectively.  The United States is expected to maintain its leading position in Taiwan's imported roasted coffee sector, where it holds more than 46 percent market share by value with approximately $32 million in roasted coffee exports.  Taiwan's total coffee import value is expected to continue growing over the next five years.

2019 Top Coffee Supplies to Taiwan

 

Roasted

Green

1

United States

$31.9

Brazil

$20.6

2

Japan

$12.3

Ethiopia

$17.3

3

Malaysia

$9.4

Indonesia

$16.2

4

Italy

$6.0

Colombia

$14.2

5

Switzerland

$3.1

Guatemala

$11.0

Source: Trade Data Monitor

Coffee Market                                                           Unit: USD thousands

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimate)

Total Market Size

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Local Production

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Exports

$28,498

$10,209

$7,976

$5,000

Total Imports

$197,457

$180,008

$180,831

$170,000

Imports from the U.S.

$27,045

$32,603

$31,961

$30,000

Exchange Rate:  USD1

29.65

30.59

30.11

30.28

Note: Annual totals estimated based on available trade data

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Source: Trade Data Monitor

Leading Sub-Sectors

As local coffee-drinking culture develops, consumers increasingly opt to make high-quality, freshly-brewed coffee at home.  In recent years, higher levels of consumer sophistication have generated additional demand for fresh coffee beans and fresh ground coffee.  At the same time, novelty products like drip-bag coffee have experienced a rapid rise in popularity.  Booming demand for cold-brewed coffee in Western countries is expected to play out in Taiwan in the near future.

Opportunities

Taiwan consumers’ growing demand for coffee has attracted many players outside of coffee and tea shops to tap into the lucrative market.  Supermarket chains, and convenience stores are major purveyors of fresh brewed coffee.  Taiwan importers express high levels of interest in purchasing high-quality U.S. coffee beans.

Web Resources

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:

For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@usda.gov.

Fresh Fruit

Overview

Taiwan has one of the world's highest per capita consumption rates of fresh fruit, consuming nearly 102 kilograms per capita compared to the global 72 kilograms per capita.  Taiwan is a significant producer of fresh tropical fruits and local fruit production is of high quality.  Local production meets more than 80 percent of total fruit demand and Taiwan typically only imports fruits that are not produced locally.  In Taiwan's fresh fruit import market, the United States remains the largest supplier, followed by New Zealand Chile, Japan, and South Korea.

2019 Top Fresh Fruit Suppliers to Taiwan

 

Value (USD millions)

Market Share

1

United States

$242.3

36.69%

2

New Zealand

$153.9

23.31%

3

Chile

$89.0

13.48%

4

Japan

$86.7

13.14%

5

Korea

$20.7

$3.14

Data Sources: Trade Data Monitor

Most fresh produce in Taiwan is sold in supermarkets, hypermarkets, wet markets, and specialty stores.  In recent years, the rise of and online shopping has led to a growing number of non-store retail fruit purchases.

 

Fresh Fruit Market                                                  Unit: USD thousands

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimate)

Total Market Size

$4,602,746

$3,793,818

$4,272,152

$4,490,000

Total Local Production

$3,966,538

$3,247,858

$3,800,000 (est.)

$4,000,000

Total Exports

$105,522

$136,179

$188,240

$160,000

Total Imports

$741,730

$682,139

$660,392

$650,000

Imports from the U.S.

$260,821

$222,922

$242,297

$206,000

Exchange Rate:   USD1

29.65

30.59

30.11

30.28

Note: Annual totals estimated based on available trade data

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources: Trade Data Monitor and Taiwan Council of Agriculture

Leading Sub-Sectors

U.S. exporters have been successful in introducing new fruit varieties to the Taiwan market.  Wholesalers and retailers prefer U.S. fresh fruits because of their quality, nutritional aspects, and profitability.  The best growth opportunities for U.S. suppliers include seasonal fruits for which Taiwan has limited production, such as cherries, strawberries, and blueberries.

In recent years, supermarkets and hypermarkets have become the primary retail outlets for fresh fruit. These retail chains draw in consumers by conducting promotions of popular U.S. fruits and by offering significantly lower prices than wet markets. Nevertheless, wet markets remain popular with older generations and continue to play a vital role in fresh fruit sales.  The emerging e-commerce sector has also begun delivering fresh produce.

The United States continues to be a leading supplier of fresh fruits to Taiwan, especially for apples, peaches, nectarines, grapes, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, oranges, plums, prunes, and pears.

Taiwan Fresh Fruits Imports from the United States

Item

Value (USD millions)

Market Share

Apples

$83.0

34.0%

Cherries

$48.6

53.6%

Grapes

$38.5

59.1%

Peaches

$33.5

78.7%

Oranges

$11.0

65.9%

Sources: Trade Data Monitor

Opportunities

To maintain their edge, U.S. fruit exporters must actively engage in promotional activities that reinforce consumers' familiarity with U.S. fruits and their nutritional value.

Web Resources

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:

For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@usda.gov.

Dog & Cat Food

Overview

Official data on the local dog and cat food production is not available.  It is estimated that local manufacturers account for approximately 30-40 percent of the total pet food market.  Thailand (31.47 percent) and the United States (27.22 percent) are the two major suppliers, followed by Canada (9.18 percent), France (7.90 percent) and Australia (6.25 percent).

Many low-cost products from Thailand are sold in supermarkets and hypermarkets.  Thailand is also the largest OEM and private label supplier for several local brands.  Mid-priced and premium brands from the United States and Europe have seen growing demand over the past decade in major cities, while low-cost products are more popular in secondary cities.  Retail prices for premium pet food can be more than ten times the cost of pet food from budget brands.

Dog and Cat Food Market                                           Unit: USD thousands

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimate)

Total Market Size

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Local Production

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Exports

$7,072

$10,912

$9,795

$8,000

Total Imports

$161,536

$179,801

$184,937

$180,000

Imports from the U.S.

$48,031

$49,912

$50,332

$52,000

Exchange Rate:  USD1

29.65

30.59

30.11

30.28

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources: Trade Data Monitor

Leading Sub-Sectors

The growth in Taiwan's dog and cat food market reflects a societal shift in attitudes towards animals as pets.  Due to rising incomes and strong western influence, dogs have become a symbol of affluence in Taiwan.  Accordingly, industry sources indicate that pet owners are increasingly willing to invest in commercially-produced pet food rather than feeding pets table scraps.

Opportunities

Long-term, U.S. dog and cat food exports to Taiwan will see stiffer competition.  The advantage for U.S. pet food brands is that consumers view them as being high-quality, offsetting their higher prices.

A growing segment of the Taiwan dog and cat food market is food products for aging pets.  According to ATO Taipei's market survey, special diet pet foods for senior dogs and cats occupy over 25 percent of shelf space in retail stores and listings on e-commerce websites.

Besides dry and wet pet food, pet treats are one of the fastest-growing segments in pet stores.  Shelf space for pet treats has expanded significantly in both pet stores and regular retail stores.

Web Resources

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:

For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@usda.gov.

Poultry Meat

Overview

Taiwan's production of poultry products meets 75 to 80  percent of  local demand.  The United States and Canada are the two main suppliers of poultry imports to Taiwan, with the United States accounting for approximately 90 percent of the import market over the past decade.  Total chicken imports hit a record high in 2018, exceeding 200,000 metric tons threshold with a total value of $222 million, due to low U.S. poultry prices and sluggish local production.

Poultry Market                                                     Unit: Metric Tons

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimate)

Total Market Size

806,654

904,811

939,884

988,000

Total Local Production

654,034

695,827

730,000 (est.)

755,000

Total Exports

8,316

7,615

4,575

2,000

Total Imports

160,936

216,599

214,460

235,000

Imports from the U.S.

146,430

200,683

197,556

220,000

Exchange Rate:  USD1

29.65

30.59

30.11

30.28

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources: Council of Agriculture; Trade Data Monitor

Leading Sub-Sectors

Taiwan consumers prefer dark meat to breast meat; consequently, the top import items are broiler thighs, legs, and trimmings.  Imports of U.S. poultry meat are expected to be stable over the next few years, even as the market adjusts to increasing competition.

Opportunities

There are significant opportunities in the Taiwan poultry products market, especially for producers that can meet importers' cut and packaging specifications.  Imported poultry has gained market acceptance in the processed food, catering, and food service sectors.  Due to improvements in thawing technology and rising consumer acceptance of frozen and thawed poultry, the retail market is increasingly receptive toward U.S. poultry products.

Web Resources

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:

For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@usda.gov.

Tree Nuts

Overview

The overall value of tree nut imports in 2019 rebounded to $186 million, because of increased demand for almonds and cashews that offset plunging import volume of walnuts.  Though the market for the bakery sector is maturing, the demand for snack food processing remains positive.

Tree Nuts Market                                  Unit: USD thousands

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimate)

Total Market Size

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Local Production

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Exports

$12,569

$11,270

$9,981

$8,000

Total Imports

$166,775

$171,221

$185,955

$190,000

Imports from the U.S.

$97,641

$90,842

$99,257

$95,000

Exchange Rate:  USD1

29.65

30.59

30.11

30.28

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Source: Trade Data Monitor

Leading Sub-Sectors

Taiwan does not produce a significant quantity of tree nuts.  Among the many types of imported tree nuts, almonds are considered the most versatile, with U.S. origin almonds dominating the market.

Taiwan Tree Nuts Imports from the United States

Item

Value (USD millions)

Market Share

Almond (shelled)

$36.5

97.8%

Walnuts (shelled)

$22.7

96.1%

Pistachios (in shell)

$14.3

82.2%

Pecans (shelled and in shell)

$4.7

99.9%

Opportunities

In Taiwan, tree nuts are mainly used for food and snack ingredients.  Marketing activities play an important role in promoting consumer awareness of specific tree nut varieties, especially in the foodservice, food processing, and baking industries, all of which are always seeking new ideas for healthy products.

Country-of-origin is a key buying criterion for Taiwan importers, as it assures consistent quality.  The United States has built its image as a high-quality supplier in the nut trade.

Web Resources

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:

For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@usda.gov.

Wine & Beer

Overview

Imports of wine and beer reached $425 million in 2019.  The United States is the second-largest wine supplier and fourth-largest beer supplier to Taiwan, representing a total value of $20.3 and $11.7 million, respectively.  Despite the front-runner position of French wines, U.S. wines continue to gain consumer recognition and acceptance.  Local wine production is limited to low quantity of homebrew, and only a few winemakers produce high-quality wine with local grape variety.

 

 

2019 Top Wine Supplies to Taiwan

 

Value (USD millions)

Market Share

1

France

$118.4

56.5%

2

United States

$20.3

9.7%

3

Italy

$17.0

8.1%

4

Australia

$14.7

7.0%

5

Spain

$11.9

5.7%

 

Beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in Taiwan.  Local beer maker (state-own beer brewer) dominates the beer market.  However, imported beer from European and neighboring countries seize more market share in the past few years.  Craft and specialty beer sales is also on the rise.

Wine & Beer Market                              Unit: USD thousands

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimate)

Total Market Size

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Local Production

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total Exports

$12,929

$25,014

$10,919

$11,000

Total Imports

$399,907

$419,774

$425,111

$420,000

Imports from the U.S.

$30,630

$32,428

$31,972

$35,000

Exchange Rate:  USD1

29.65

30.59

30.11

30.28

Note: Annual totals estimated based on available trade data.

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Source: Trade Data Monitor

Leading Sub-Sectors

The wine-drinking consumer profile has now expanded to include young professionals.  Entry-level wine drinkers prefer balanced red wines, while semi-sweet white wine is popular among female drinkers.  Wine is available to consumers through hypermarkets, supermarkets, alcoholic beverage chain stores, and convenience stores.  The industry estimates that about half of grape wine is sold through retail store channels and the other half is sold through the HRI segment.  Low-end wine is sold mainly in convenience stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets.  In contrast, high-end wine is sold through hotel restaurants, individual restaurants featuring western cuisines, specialty shops, and websites.  Hypermarkets and supermarkets typically import directly only a small portion of the wine they carry.

Opportunities

For the wine market, Taiwan consumers are influenced by the media, wine sommeliers, and wine ratings.  Successful entry into the Taiwan market generally involves receiving glowing reviews from famous wine connoisseurs or reputable media.  Entry-level and mid-priced wines with a mild, fruity taste are better accepted by locals.

Changing lifestyles,  globalization, westernization, and increased availability of wine generate future opportunities for market expansion of both beer and wine.  Diversified promotion activities via different channels are key to success.

Web Resources

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website offers the following resources for U.S. exporters:

For additional information on the Taiwan market for food and agricultural products or to exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the Taipei International Food Show, please contact AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at: ATOTaipei@usda.gov.