Language selection

Search

Market Overview – Taiwan

September 2019

Market snapshot

Taiwan registered a total gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$601.4 billion in 2018, an increase of 4.6% from US$574.9 billion in 2017.

Taiwan had a total population of 23.6 million in 2018. The population is expected to reach 23.8 million by 2025. Taiwanese have busy lifestyles and the increase of double-income families and career women present market opportunities for food products of convenience or ready to eat.

According to GlobalData, the proportion of people aged 65+ was 1.2 million or 5.3% of the total population while 35-39 year olds (Taiwan's largest population segment) represented 2 million, or 8.5% of the population in 2018. Taiwan's elderly population is aging faster in comparison to European and North American countries and by 2060, a 56-year old will be perceived as a relatively young person in Taiwan. Opportunities exist for Canadian companies offering products with innovative ingredients and technology featuring functional, wellness and health components in anti-aging, anti-cancer and immunity boost. Taiwanese are very health conscious. Organic and natural products are also increasingly becoming popular.

Taiwan is a net importer of agri-food and seafood products. In 2018, Taiwan's agri-food and seafood trade deficit was US$8.7 billion with imports valued at US$14.1 billion, and exports of US$5.4 billion. Canada was Taiwan's eleventh largest supplier of agri-food and seafood products in 2018 representing a 2.1% market share. Taiwan's agri-food and seafood imports have increased slightly at a CAGR of 1.2% between 2014 and 2018.

Food retail sales were valued at US$15.9 billion in 2018, and are anticipated to reach US$18.1 billion by 2022. Taiwan's processed food and beverage imports were valued at US$8.9 billion in which Canada attained a modest 2.3% market share in 2018.

Production

Rice grown in paddy fields is Taiwan's primary domestic crop, with production representing 1.8 million tonnes in 2017. The production volume of rice paddies has increased by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.5% between 2013 to 2017. Pineapples and maize attained the highest CAGR of 7.6% and 5.3% respectively, while sugar cane, fresh tropical fruit and bananas experienced the largest negative CAGR of 7.6%, 4.7% and 3.5% for each respective commodity during the same period.

Pork is Taiwan's primary meat producing 809.4 thousand tonnes in 2017, however, the production volume of pork has decreased by a CAGR of 1.4% between 2013 to 2017. Both duck and chicken meat have increased by a CAGR of 3.3% and 2.3% individually from 2013 to 2017, while beef production remained unchanged in growth rate.

Both live goats and pigs decreased by a CAGR of 3.3% and 2.4% respectively during the 2013 to 2017 period, while both cattle and chicken increased by 0.2% and 0.8 % individually.

Crop production in Taiwan 2013-2017, measured in '000 tonnes
Top 10 crops (tonnes) 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Rice, paddy 1,589.5 1,732.2 1,581.7 1,587.8 1,754.0 2.5
Fresh Vegetables[1], nes[2] 926.0 942.6 912.4 957.7 943.8 0.5
Cabbages and other brassicas[1] 555.0 576.1 544.5 604.7 614.0 2.6
Pineapples 413.5 456.2 494.0 527.2 553.5 7.6
Fresh tropical fruit, nes 531.8 513.5 455.4 333.8 438.4 −4.7
Sugar cane 533.6 542.2 664.9 573.4 389.0 −7.6
Bananas 291.3 300.0 274.1 257.6 253.0 −3.5
Sweet potatoes 215.1 234.9 230.5 242.0 235.2 2.3
Watermelons[1] 212.7 211.3 217.5 201.1 210.7 −0.2
Maize[1] 133.0 166.0 165.3 164.8 163.5 5.3

Source: FAOSTAT Agricultural Production, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

1: Crops also produced in Canada

2: not elsewhere specified

Meat production in Taiwan 2013-2017, measured in '000 tonnes
Meat (tonnes) 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Meat, pork 855.0 815.3 832.2 826.4 809.4 −1.4
Meat, chicken 510.2 543.2 533.1 565.5 557.7 2.3
Meat, duck 76.0 85.2 80.0 82.8 86.7 3.3
Meat, beef 6.3 6.4 6.4 6.4 6.3 0.0

Source: FAOSTAT Agricultural Production, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Livestock production in Taiwan 2013-2017
Livestock (head) 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 *CAGR % 2013-2017
Pigs 6,004,717 5,806,237 5,545,010 5,496,216 5,442,381 −2.4
Goats 167,103 160,850 157,778 156,045 146,000 −3.3
Cattle 143,009 144,887 143,302 147,068 143,993 0.2
Chicken 91,598 91,070 94,523 90,975 94,647 0.8

Source: FAOSTAT Agricultural Production, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Trade

Taiwan is a net importer of agri-food and seafood products. In 2018, Taiwan's agri-food and seafood trade deficit was US$8.7 billion with imports valued at US$14.1 billion, and exports of US$5.4 billion. Canada was Taiwan's eleventh largest supplier of agri-food and seafood products in 2018 representing a 2.1% market share. Taiwan's agri-food and seafood imports have increased slightly at a CAGR of 1.2% between 2014 and 2018.

Taiwan's top agri-food and seafood imports from the world in 2018 were soybeans, maize, food preparations, meat of bovine animals and whiskies. Key supplying countries were the United States (U.S), the United Kingdom (U.K), Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand.

Taiwan's top agri-food and seafood imports from the world, 2018
HS Code Commodity Import value US$ millions Top suppliers and market share % Canada's share %
1 2 3
120190 Soybeans, whether or not broken 1,070.3 United States: 84.3 Brazil: 12.1 Canada: 2.9 2.9
100590 Maize 853.5 United States: 76.0 Brazil: 16.7 South Africa: 3.9 0.0
210690 Food preparations, n.e.s. 660.8 United States: 38.3 Japan: 9.6 Korea: 6.5 2.2
020230 Meat of bovine animals, boneless, frozen 560.7 United States: 42.0 Australia: 23.8 New Zealand: 20.8 2.6
220830 Whiskies 482.2 United Kingdom: 95.9 Japan: 2.6 United States: 0.8 0.0
020130 Meat of bovine animals, boneless, fresh or chilled 385.7 United States: 75.1 Australia: 11.5 Japan: 9.3 0.3
100119 Durum wheat 317.1 United States: 79.7 Australia: 15.2 Canada: 4.0 4.0
030617 Frozen shrimps and prawns 257.2 Nicaragua: 19.4 Honduras: 17.6 Thailand: 17.1 0.2
520100 Cotton, neither carded nor combed 253.9 United States: 75.6 India: 7.7 Brazil: 6.9 0.0
080810 Apples, fresh 245.2 Chile: 29.0 Japan: 28.7 United States: 23.5 0.1

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

1: not elsewhere specified

Taiwan's processed food and beverage imports were valued at US$8.9 billion in 2018. Canada is largely absent from this market only registering a 2.3% market share within 2018. The US, Thailand, New Zealand, Japan and Australia were the largest suppliers of processed food and beverages to Taiwan, providing 48% of the market share in 2018. Taiwan's processed food and beverage imports increased at a CAGR of 4.3% between 2014 and 2018.

Canada's agri-food and seafood exports to Taiwan were valued at US$261.7 million in 2018. Top exports were frozen meat of pork, soybeans, meat of bovine animals (boneless and frozen), dog or cat food and food preparations. In 2018, Canada registered an agri-food and seafood trade export surplus of US$163.5 million with Taiwan (importing US$98.2 million from Taiwan) in 2018.

Exports

Taiwan's total agri-food and seafood exports were US$5.4 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 4.5% in CAGR between 2014 to 2018. Canada was Taiwan's twelfth largest consumer of agri-food and seafood products in 2018 representing a 1.6% market share. Key consuming countries importing as much as 67% of commodities from Taiwan were China, Japan, Viietnam, the US and Hong Kong.

Canada's agri-food and seafood imports from Taiwan were valued at US$98.2 million in 2018. Top three commodities imported by Canada from Taiwan included food preparations n.e.s., cuttle fish & squid and bakery products.

Taiwan's top agri-food and seafood exports to the world, 2018
HS Code Commodity Export value US$ millions Top importers and market share % Canada's share %
1 2 3
210690 Food preparations, n.e.s.[1] 602.7 China: 37.3 United States: 12.2 Hong Kong 10.0 2.4
050510 Feathers used for stuffing and down 263.2 China: 37.3 Japan: 27.4 Vietnam: 15.3 0.5
030344 Frozen bigeye tunas 244.6 Japan: 94.4 Thailand: 1.6 China: 1.0 0.0
030343 Skipjack, frozen or stripe-bellied 238.0 Thailand: 70.5 China: 15.4 Philippines: 4.8 0.0
030342 Frozen yellowfin tunas 192.5 Japan: 54.8 Thailand: 26.2 Vietnam: 8.4 0.0
060290 Live plants and mushroom spawn 174.5 United States: 33.5 Japan: 17.3 Vietnam: 10.8 3.4
030341 Frozen or long finned albacore tunas 172.4 Mauritius: 26.8 Japan: 20.4 Thailand: 10.9 1.6
190590 Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers' wares 155.0 China: 40.3 United States: 15.6 Hong Kong: 11.2 4.7
170199 Cane or beet sugar 147.2 Korea: 64.4 Hong Kong: 22.3 Japan: 2.9 0.3
030199 Live fish 147.0 China: 74.4 Hong Kong: 24.6 Vietnam: 0.4 0.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

1: not elsewhere specified

Retail sales

Taiwan is the ninth largest food market within Asia-PacificFootnote 1 after Indonesia and Thailand and the 40th largest food market in the world after Peru and Denmark. The food sector in Taiwan is experiencing reasonable growth, a trend that is expected to continue over the coming years. Retail sales were valued at US$15.9 billion in 2018 with a CAGR of 2.4% from 2014 to 2018. By the year 2022, retail sales are expected to reach US$18.1 billion, registering an increase in growth rate to 3.5%. The meat (US$4.5 billion) and the dairy & soy (US$3.3 billion) categories had the largest retail sales value in 2018, registering a CAGR of 1.9% and 1.8% respectively from 2015 to 2018 while the prepared meals category recorded the highest CAGR's in both the 2015 to 2018 and 2019 to 2022 periods, registering 7.1% and 7.6% respectively.

The meat sector within Asia-Pacific was the second largest global market accounting for US$288.1 billion and a value share of 30.5% in 2018. Fresh meat was the largest category valued at US$204.6 billion in 2018Footnote 2. The region is expected to attain a CAGR of 3.6% between 2018 to 2023 and reach US$343.8 billion by 2023Footnote 3. Rising disposable income levels and subsequent increase in spending power across Asia-Pacific is accelerating meat consumption in the region. International Monetary Fund, 2016 Regional Economic Outlook;*included shelf stable meat, cooked meats - counter, and cooked meats-packaged (as cited in GlobalData 2019). Fresh meat is perceived as a healthier alternative to processed meat contributing to the demand for fresh cut meat. In addition, incorporating claims such as 'nutritional value', 'low fat' and 'low calorie' within new product launches have appealed to health conscious consumers which in combination, has contributed to the growth of the meat sector within Asia-Pacific.

The dairy & soy food sector within Asia-Pacific was the third largest market region accounting for US$111.8 billion in 2017. The region is forecasted to record the highest growth attaining a CAGR of 6.8% by 2022. Milk was the largest category valued at US$62 billion while drinkable yogurt and cheese were valued at US$19.2 billion and US$9.0 billion respectively in 2017Footnote 4. Rising disposable incomes are again cited as a factor enabling consumers to increase spending on the convenience and the health benefits offered by dairy and soy foodFootnote 5. In addition, the region has witnessed strong growth within the retail network as major businesses expand through the acquisition of local competitors, while persuading other brands and sectors to expand into dairy. For instance, PepsiCo, a leader in the snacks, bakery & cereals and beverage sector recently introduced a new'Quaker' line of Oats & Milk within India and the Philippines in May 2017Footnote 5.

The Asia-Pacific region has emerged as the third largest market in the global prepared meals sector and was valued at US$22.2 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to reach US$27.5 billion by 2022Footnote 6. Globally, the Asia region is experiencing constant lifestyle changes due, in part, to the increasing urbanization levels which are contributing to the rising demand for convenient food options offered by prepared meals. Increasing female participation in the workforce coupled with busier schedules and changing consumer preferences have also contributed to the rise in demand for prepared mealsFootnote 7.

As Taiwan's birth rate is declining, more and more Taiwanese are raising pets as family members. Pet food imports is expected to continue over the next few years as pet ownership increases. Demand for high quality and natural pet food is growing.

Food retail sales in Taiwan historic and forecast in US$ millions, using previous year fixed exchange rate
Category 2015 2018 CAGR* % 2015-2018 2019 2022 CAGR* % 2019-2022
Food 14,770.0 15,860.6 2.4 16,306.0 18,082.1 3.5
Bakery and cereals 1,498.6 1,573.6 1.6 1,608.3 1,735.5 2.6
Confectionery 726.5 763.5 1.7 779.6 848.5 2.9
Dairy and soy food 3,087.0 3,254.6 1.8 3,344.0 3,705.1 3.5
Fish and seafood 1,216.3 1,298.0 2.2 1,327.7 1,447.7 2.9
Ice cream 113.0 119.6 1.9 124.0 139.9 4.1
Meat 4,281.8 4,535.9 1.9 4,631.7 5,014.4 2.7
Oils and fats 752.0 804.8 2.3 815.7 885.4 2.8
Pasta and noodles 477.6 534.6 3.8 556.3 640.7 4.8
Prepared meals 1,082.9 1,329.0 7.1 1,420.5 1,768.9 7.6
Savoury and deli foods 176.8 193.3 3.0 199.1 224.0 4.0
Savoury snacks 887.2 958.0 2.6 993.6 1,125.7 4.2
Seasonings, dressings and sauces 371.4 389.6 1.6 396.1 426.0 2.5
Soups 41.7 45.7 3.1 47.3 53.3 4.1
Syrups and spreads 57.1 60.4 1.9 61.6 67.0 2.8

Source: GlobalData, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Foodservice

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s report on Taiwan's foodservice-hotel, restaurant and institutional, as cited by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the economic outlook of Taiwan's foodservice, not accounting for institutional foodservice, was estimated at US$15.2 billion in 2017, representing a 3% increase from 2016. The food service sector has had stable growth over the past decade with tourism development cited as the primary driver. Other factors that have contributed have been the rise in consumer income, smaller family sizes, a growing number of working women and the growth of e-commerce have helped the food service sector develop.Footnote 8

Food is one of Taiwan's top strengths as a tourist destination and night markets are common, providing tourists with hundreds of food options. Socializing in hotel restaurants is popular and have become a significant souce of revenue. Western holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day and Valentine's Day are becoming commercialized as Taiwan's hotel restaurants use these occasions to promote American foods and beverages.Footnote 9

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

Resources

Market Overview – Taiwan
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Laurie Bernardi, International Market Research Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2019).

Photo credits
All photographs reproduced in this publication are used by permission of the rights holders.
All images, unless otherwise noted, are copyright Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

To join our distribution list or to suggest additional report topics or markets, please contact:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Global Analysis
1341 Baseline Road, Tower 5, 3rd floor
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1A 0C5
Email: aafc.mas-sam.aac@canada.ca

The Government of Canada has prepared this report based on primary and secondary sources of information. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) assumes no liability for any actions taken based on the information contained herein.

Reproduction or redistribution of this document, in whole or in part, must include acknowledgement of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as the owner of the copyright in the document, through a reference citing AAFC, the title of the document and the year. Where the reproduction or redistribution includes data from this document, it must also include an acknowledgement of the specific data source(s), as noted in this document.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides this document and other report services to agriculture and food industry clients free of charge.

Report a problem on this page
Please select all that apply:
Date modified: