Chilean apples overtake US in Taiwan

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Tom Bicknell

BY TOM BICKNELL

Chilean apples overtake US in Taiwan

Chilean oversupply of Taiwan in 2010/11 boosted it to become the market’s largest supplier of apples, overtaking the US

Chilean apples overtake US in Taiwan

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The flood of Chilean apples that hit the Taiwanese market during 2010/11 has pushed the South American supplier to become Taiwan’s number one import source for the fruit.

A report released earlier this month from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service revealed Taiwan’s imports of Chilean apples rose 72 per cent during 2010/11 (July-June), hitting 56,979 tonnes.

Taiwan’s overall apple imports rose 17 per cent by volume to 149,017 tonnes and 16 per cent by value over the year, according to the report. The drastic rise in supply flooded the market and cut back prices, leading to losses by importers.

The growth also put Chile into position as Taiwan’s largest supplier of apples with a 38 per cent share of the country’s imports, overtaking the US with its 33 per cent share.

Apple import volumes will dip back slightly to around 140,000 tonnes in 2011/12, the report predicted.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s domestic apple production is continuing to fall, experiencing a 40 per cent drop in production to 2,186 tonnes in 2010/11. Uncompetitive pricing and shortage of land have been the key factors contributing to the decline of the industry, which now only holds a 1 per cent share of the market.

Supplies from Japan and South Korea fell, finishing the year holding 11 per cent and 3 per cent of the market respectively, while New Zealand’s share increased slightly to 13 per cent.

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