Taiwan is the third largest export market for US peaches and nectarines and the fifth largest export market for US cherries. In MY 2021/22, Taiwan imported 16,330 MT of fresh peaches/ nectarines and 13,851 MT of fresh cherries. The US share of the import market is around 70 percent for peaches/nectarines and 42 percent for cherries. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance of home delivery services in the high-end fruit market. Otherwise, peach and cherry supply chains have not been substantially changed by the COVID-19 pandemic or post-pandemic era. Taiwan’s peach consumption continues its long-term slow downward trend while cherry consumption is projected to see a small rise.
Taiwan’s peach harvest season runs from March to August, depending on variety and planting elevation. In Taiwan, half of peach production is located near Taichung City, with the remainder followed by Taoyuan City, Hsinchu County, and Nantou County. Several peach varieties are sold through an auction market system, with the sweet peach variety the largest by volume. Taiwan peach varieties are separated into low-chill and high-chill requirements. Only the honey peach variety requires high-chilling and is usually planted in high mountain areas.
Because March and April sees the tail end of seasonal peach imports from Chile and the beginning of imports from the United States, the cultivation of domestic low-chill varieties continues to show a stable increase in proportion to Taiwan peach production. However, the increasing production area of low-chill varieties could not overcome the decline from Hsinchu and Nantou counties due to unfavorable weather and severe pest damage at high-altitudes. Thus, Taiwan peach production will likely continue to decline slowly over the long term.
Peach and nectarine imports are forecast essentially flat at 16,000 MT for MY 2022/23. Imports in the first half 2022 were 7,000 MT, closely tracking 2021 figures. MY 2021/22 imports for peaches and nectarine were 16,330 MT, over 1300 MT higher than the previous forecast. The increased import volume was due to large nectarine supply from the United States.