Taiwanese media have reported that Taiwanese fruit export nearly stagnated in February as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Trade started to show signs of improvement in March.
Cai Changlong, the chairman of Changlong Agricultural Industry, has more than 15 years of experience in cross-strait import and export. Taiwanese fruit export accounts for almost 10% of the production volume. Almost 90% of that export volume is destined for mainland China. Taiwan heavily relies on the Chinese market. However, since the outbreak of the corona virus, many areas in China have implemented restrictive measures to slow down the spread of the virus. These measures also created obstacles for the export of Taiwanese agricultural products.
According to Cai Changlong, the combined export to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia comes to less than 10% of the Taiwanese export to China. The fruit that could not be exported to China in February was therefore shifted towards the domestic market. Fortunately, the overall production volume of fruit was not that large in February, so the financial loss was limited.
Furthermore, according to Cai, many markets, supermarkets, and e-commerce platforms in China were unable to resume regular operations. In addition, many e-commerce platforms have limited distribution capacity. They are unable to deliver products on time. Many companies and markets began to resume operations in late February. Guangdong, Beijing, and other coastal areas are gradually recovering. Cai expressed hope that conditions will return to normal in March.
Cai also pointed out that several kinds of Taiwanese fruit enter the market in March, including pineapples, wax apples, citrus fruits, dragon fruit and early-season mangoes. These are also important export fruits. Cai believes that both export and domestic sales conditions will improve in March. The peak season for Taiwanese fruit is in May. That will be a crucial time for the Taiwanese export industry.