Pineapples are the number one export fruit in Taiwan. Their export volume grew rapidly over the last few years from 9 thousand tons in 2014 to 29 thousand tons in 2016. The export volume in 2018 broke a record with 32 thousand tons. However, the rapid growth of pineapple export has some people in Taiwan worried. Jiao Jun, the author of The Study of Fruit Administration argued that these numbers are not cause for celebration because more than 90% of the pineapple export volume is destined for the Chinese market, "which is quite an abnormal situation".
Statistics in an article by Jiao Jun show that the pineapple export volume of 32 thousand tons far exceeds the export volume of sugar apples and Maogu tangerines, the second and third most important export fruits in Taiwan with a combined export volume of more than 10 thousand tons. The importance of China as an export destination for Taiwanese pineapples grows stronger every year. China absorbed 97% of Taiwanese pineapple export in 2018. Japan, once an important export market for Taiwanese pineapples, has virtually disappeared. China completely dominates Taiwanese pineapple export.
"The numbers are obvious, Taiwan only has one real export market for pineapples, and that is China. Is this not too great a risk?" Jiao Jun worries that Chinese importers are not interested in long-term engagement with Jinzuan pineapple farmers. Perhaps pineapples from the Philippines will make a comeback in the Chinese market? Jiao Jun believes the only possible response for Taiwanese pineapple farmers and traders is to increase the added-value of Taiwanese pineapples and improve the export supply chain.