TAIWAN – Record US beef shipments to Taiwan in 2013 will likely falter slightly this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Last year’s increase saw the US regain its position as Taiwan’s premier supplier by value after a maximum residue limit was put on ractopamine levels in September 2012.
However, reports from the Foreign Agricultural Service state that high prices and competition from elsewhere could limit exports in 2014.
This follows 2013 earnings of US$250 million for US beef, made possible after Taiwan authorities ratified a maximum residue limit (MRL) for beef muscle.
An immediate buying increase was seen with September and October 2012 reporting a 367 per cent volume increase.
But the FAS stressed that consumer’ are ‘deeply concerned’ with the health and safety of US beef, adding: “Taiwan authorities and political officials still mention President Ma’s “political sacrifice” in establishing the MRL for ractopamine in beef muscle.”
Despite this, US beef has a sure footing in Taiwan, with the restaurant trade reflecting the influx.
“There is an increase in American style restaurants, many of which feature U.S. beef predominately on the menus,” the FAS added. “This trend extends beyond the northern capitol of Taipei, where many Western style restaurants are opening in the island’s southern half.”
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