Taiwan’s September import data showed U.S. beef volume (2,871 mt) up 327 percent from a year ago while import value increased nearly 400 percent to $24.7 million. Through the first nine months of the year, Taiwan’s imports of U.S. beef were up 159 percent in volume (24,228 mt) and 215 percent in value ($198.7 million).
For chilled beef, U.S. volume in September increased nearly fivefold from a year ago to 1,206 mt, as U.S. beef captured 74 percent of Taiwan’s chilled beef market for the month. Through the first nine months of this year, U.S. volume (7,995 mt) was up 238 percent from a year ago and value ($83.9 million) increased 277 percent as U.S. beef captured 66 percent of Taiwan’s chilled beef market. In fact, Taiwan has imported nearly as much chilled U.S. beef this year it imported from all sources (8,137 mt) during the same period in 2012.
September was also a strong month for Taiwan’s imports of U.S. pork muscle cuts, which nearly doubled in volume (810 mt) and increased 71 percent in value ($1.63 million) from a year ago. For January through September, imports of U.S. pork muscle cuts were up 49 percent in volume (7,291 mt) from a year ago and 29 percent in value ($15.6 million).
Imports of U.S. pork variety meat were lower in September, declining 33 percent in volume (678 mt) and 15 percent in value ($1.7 million) from a year ago. However, imports through the first nine months of the year remained higher in both volume (8,725 mt, +8 percent) and value ($20.3 million, +12 percent).
Taiwan’s total imports of pork/pork variety meat in September were sharply lower than a year ago in both volume (4,692 mt, -17 percent) and value ($8.7 million , -25 percent). But for the first nine months of the year, imports totaled 46,120 mt (+12 percent) valued at $92 million (+4 percent). January-September imports from the United States were higher than a year ago in both volume (16,132 mt, +23 percent) and value ($36.6 million, +20 percent), though imports from Canada achieved an even stronger year-over-year increase (+41 percent in volume to 20,383 mt, +32 percent in value to $37.6 million).
September hog prices in Taiwan were about 3 percent higher than a year ago, averaging 66.24 ntd/kg (about $1.04/pound). Hog prices in 2013 have been relatively steady with the second half of last year, remaining in the $0.94/pound to $1.07/pound range. In the spring of 2012, prices slumped as low as $0.76/pound. Taiwan’s hog slaughter in September totaled 589,364 head – down 5 percent year-over-year. Average weight in September was down slightly from a year ago at 115.86 kg (255.4 pounds).