Business Opportunities

Opportunities for U.S. agricultural exports in Taiwan

taiwan export

Taiwan is an important trading partner and offers many opportunities for sales of U.S. food and agricultural products. Because of its small land area and high urbanization rate, Taiwan has a relatively small agricultural sector and relies on imports for domestic use. Despite having a population of only 23.5 million, Taiwan was the United States’ ninth-largest export market for farm and food products in 2018. The United States’ reputation among Taiwan’s consumers for high-quality food and agricultural products and competitive prices indicates a favorable environment for future growth and opportunities.

Taiwan is an aging society, with more than 20 percent of its population expected to be older than 65 by 2026. Changing demographics and increasing incomes have transformed consumption patterns, with higher consumption levels of prepared foods and greater demand for healthy products. Taiwan consumers are also eating at restaurants more frequently, helping ignite strong growth in fast food chains and casual dining establishments. These transformations led to growth between 2014 and 2018 in consumption of high-value products such as beef, fresh fruits, and tree nuts. The United States is a primary supplier for all these products.

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Taiwan has one of the world’s wealthiest economies on a per-capita basis. Its economy is driven primarily by manufacturing of electronic and computer components, with agriculture accounting for only about two percent of Taiwan’s 2017 gross domestic product. Because of its dependence on imported agricultural products, Taiwan is expected to remain a large and growing destination for U.S. exporters. While Taiwan’s agricultural imports from the world only increased by two percent in 2018, imports from the United States increased by 18 percent.

Global Market Perspective

Top Taiwan Agricultural Imports from the World
Product
Value (Million US$)
U.S. Market Share 2018
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Soybeans
1,347.8
1,164.7
1,020.5
1,072.7
1,070.7
84%
Food Preps. & Misc. Bev
890.4
909.4
947.6
969.6
1,057.7
26%
Beef & Beef Products
709.0
715.1
776.9
888.3
1,002.5
55%
Corn
1,031.7
872.0
783.6
847.9
853.8
76%
Dairy Products
699.7
582.6
565.6
708.4
730.6
14%
Fresh Fruit
607.2
618.1
721.4
741.6
682.1
33%
TOTAL
11,295.7
10,499.0
10,294.5
11,460.3
11,746.4
36%
Source: IHS Markit, BICO HS-6
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