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Spain Joins Taiwan’s Growing List of European Pork Suppliers

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration announced this week that the Taiwanese market is now open to pork imports from Spain.

Through July, Taiwan’s 2014 pork/pork variety meat imports totaled 44,052 metric tons (mt) valued at $105.3 million – increases of 40 percent in volume and 82 percent in value from the same period last year. This is attributable to an influx of European pork, including large increases from the Netherlands (11,087 mt, +163 percent) and Hungary (3,125 mt, +431 percent) and a tenfold increase from Denmark (4,153 mt, +896 percent).

These increases are driven in part by the closure of the Russian market – traditionally the largest destination for EU pork exports – due to an impasse over African swine fever. This suspension began Jan. 30, but pork from the EU is also now ineligible under the retaliatory import ban imposed by Russia on Aug. 7.

“Throughout Asia, we saw very inexpensive European pork enter the market during the spring and summer months,” said Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific. “But this is especially challenging in a market like Taiwan, which is highly price-sensitive in the processing sector. While USMEF continues to work diligently with the importers and processors in Taiwan, European suppliers have held a significant price advantage for much of this year.”