Taiwan’s Pork Referendum: No Counter-Initiative from Ruling Party

Taiwan’s ruling party will not initiate any proposals to counter a referendum aimed at reinstating the country’s ban on pork imports containing ractopamine, as reported by Taipei Times.

The referendum vote on pork imports, which was spearheaded by Taiwan’s main opposition party (the Chinese Nationalist Party, or KMT) is set to take place in August. If the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), headed by President Tsai Ing-wen, wanted to introduce a counter-initiative it would have to submit the proposal by the end of this week.

As we previously reported, President Tsai announced in August that her government would adopt maximum residue levels (MRLs) for ractopamine in pork, rather than require imports to be free of ractopamine residues. The MRLs became effective in January.

Taiwan’s pork and pork variety meat imports in the first quarter were up 12% to 15,480 mt as imports from the EU doubled to 7,710 mt and offset decreases from U.S. (down 34% to 1,352 mt) and Canada (6,200 mt, -18.5%). Canada’s export data showed February shipments to Taiwan reached 2,896 mt, the most since December 2019, when Canada was still out of the Chinese market. USDA data showed that February exports to Taiwan dropped to just 563 mt (down from the recent peak of 2,800 mt in October 2020). Taiwan’s live hog price in March was up 11% from last year, averaging US$1.11/lb.