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German media: Taiwan’s pineapples are sold on a large scale in Japan and the enlightenment of the political struggle between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait

The Chinese government announced at the end of February 2021 that it would ban the import of pineapples from Taiwan, which caught Taiwan, which was about to usher in the “Golden Diamond Pineapple” production season, by surprise. The Voice asked experts to analyze the aftermath of the incident.

In response to China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples revealing Taiwan’s overwhelming economic dependence on China, Taiwan launched a “patriotic pineapple campaign” to encourage consumers to buy more of their own pineapples. The picture shows a hotel restaurant employee holding an ingenious new dish: pineapple fried rice on March 10, 2021.

According to various media recently citing data from the Taiwan Agricultural Commission in the first half of the year, Taiwan’s pineapple shipments to Japan surged to 16,556 tons in the four months after China’s ban came into effect on March 1, which was a year earlier from March to June. With more than 8 times the shipment volume, Japan has replaced China as the largest export market for Taiwanese pineapples.

The Facebook page of “Fruit Politics” author Jiao Jun mentioned this data on July 19, and also mentioned that Taiwan’s pineapple exports to Hong Kong increased by about 6.5 times, while China’s halved to one-tenth. “The huge growth in the Japanese market has reduced the impact of the halving of the Chinese market,” he said.

Jiao Jun told Deutsche Welle that the three-point contribution came from the top-down “patriotic pineapple craze” in Taiwan. In the early stage, the price was stabilized and the price did not collapse. However, after the news event subsided, the seven-point contribution still depended on it. Farmers and traders came silently.

Jiao Jun conducted a field survey on Taiwanese pineapple farmers and found that in addition to the long-term and high-yield “Golden Diamond Pineapple” that survived the storm of China’s ban, the later-produced “Milk Pineapple” also broke the export barrier of high sweetness and storage tolerance in the past. , continue to export to Japan.

The farmer told Jiao Jun that Japan was cautious in importing agricultural products. In the first month, Taiwanese farmers were required to transport samples by air to confirm the taste quality. Afterwards, after farmers’ requirements to control ripeness and container temperature, Taiwanese pineapples needed to be successfully resold to Japan. the success of the segment”. He said: “If you don’t do well, no one will buy ‘milk pineapple’ from you in July.”

Jiao Jun mentioned that such achievements are not due to the short-term support of Japan’s “political orders” or “personal orders”, but that Japanese dealers have made money and “things are easy to sell.” He emphasized that what Taiwan should focus on is how to keep such a market, and the government should invest resources in “basic projects”, such as improving old fruit warehouses, etc., and then consider whether it can change the dependence of agricultural products on a single market.

In addition to the nature of economic and trade “exchanges”, from the perspective of cross-strait or Asia-Pacific geopolitics, Jiao Jun believes that although Taiwan and Japan have always been friendly, under the “Indo-Pacific strategy” led by the United States, Japan has taken action in this incident. There are traces of aid to Taiwan. If China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples is intended to hit Tsai Ing-wen’s government, it may be “self-defeating” or even “self-defeating”, and instead create a “catalyst for closer relations between Taiwan and Japan” four months later. Over the past few months, Japanese political leaders have repeatedly emphasized that Japan’s security is directly related to Taiwan’s security.

Is the Chinese market difficult to replace?

In the face of the huge Chinese market, if China lifts the ban, will the trade volume of the export market reverse? Bloomberg quoted farmers in southern Taiwan as saying that this experience made them realize that “you can no longer expect easy money from China.” Jiao Jun said that according to the law of market supply and demand, someone will naturally fill that supply, but it mainly depends on the attitude of the Chinese compradors.

In addition, according to Deutsche Welle’s inquiry into Taiwan’s agricultural statistics, compared with the same period last year from March to June 2021, Taiwan’s pineapple exports totaled 23,459 tons from 37,225 tons last year, a drop of 37%. The revenue portion has changed from US$44,535,000 to US$294,288,000 last year, a drop of 33.9%, showing that although sales in Japan have increased a lot, less going to the Chinese market is still quite harmful.

Jiao Jun mentioned that although Japan has no way to match the Chinese market, its dependence has been greatly reduced from 90% in the past due to haste and no psychological preparation. He said: “Longer the time axis and enlarge the depth. Don’t talk about agriculture. Mainland China is Taiwan’s largest export market, and the overall level of trade is high.” Therefore, it is not easy to replace.

Jiao Jun emphasized that the successful resale experience of Taiwanese pineapples may not necessarily be replicated because of the restrictions on exporting Japanese fruits. He said: “Those are the ones that can sell well, such as mangoes, citrus in winter…” Taiwanese pineapples succeeded “by fate”, but continuous observation is needed to maintain this export momentum.

When the reporter asked if there would be another fruit political wrestling, Jiao Jun didn’t have a definite answer, but he mentioned the next fruit that might be locked up: Pineapple Shakya. Pineapple Sakyamuni entered the harvesting period at the end of October and the beginning of November, and was abundant before the Lunar New Year. Compared with Taiwanese pineapples, which have experience in exporting to Japan, 99% of pineapples are dependent on the Chinese market. Plus, they are not Japanese-accessible products. Unless they open the Southeast Asian market, they will be directly impacted.

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