U.S. AgNet is reporting that U.S. grain exports to Taiwan are on the rise in the wake of a breakthrough in negotiating a relaxation in Taiwan's regulatory regime on grain imports. Taiwan has been the U.S.' fourth largest customer -- behind Japan, Mexico, and South Korea -- of corn from America's heartland. Importing as much as 4-5 billion tons a year, most corn imports go to feed Taiwan's large number of pigs. Taiwan has been said to have the highest density of hog farms in the world. Over the least two years, China's Taiwan Affairs Office has been placing growing public pressure on Taiwan to loosen its restrictions on Chinese corn.
Change in Taiwan's Import Regs a Win For U.S. Corn Growers
USAgNet - 09/05/2008
A change in Taiwan's import regulations is affording U.S. farmers greater opportunities to increase corn exports to the country. At the same time, Taiwanese livestock producers are seeing easier access to feed grains supplies.
The U.S. Grains Council is calling this move a win-win for U.S. farmers and for end-users overseas."The Council has always worked with regulators in Taiwan and throughout the world to ensure fair, scientific and safe procedures are in place," said Clover Chang, USGC assistant director in Taiwan.
Taiwan's Bureau of Food Safety, which is a division of the Department of Health, separated the managements of imported corn for feed from corn imported for human consumption. Regulators will now only test imported feed-use corn for aflatoxins, which are mycotoxins produced by fungi, and not pesticide residues.
Until recently, there was only one commodity classification code for importing corn thus feed-use corn and food-use corn were facing the same standards, according to Chang. "Roughly 95 percent of imported corn is destined for feed use in Taiwan's vibrant livestock industry," Chang noted.
Taiwan imports of U.S. corn through the first six months of 2008 are on pace to exceed the record $753 million (4.2 million metric tons or 165 million bushels) of exports in 2007.