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Taiwan's Demand for Soybean Meal Continues to Drive Demand for Imported Soybeans

Taiwan's Demand for Soybean Meal Continues to Drive Demand for Imported Soybeans

23 April 2014
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

TAIWAN - Taiwan’s demand for soybean meal continues to be the driving force behind Taiwan’s demand for imported soybeans.

Taiwan’s soybean demand is fully dependent on imported supply for crushing for meal and oil (74 per cent), soy food (around 13 per cent), and full fat soybeans which is referred as full fat soybean meal in Taiwan (13 per cent). Soybean import forecast for MY2014/15 is 2.2 MMT, on a par with MY2012/13 imports. Though facing fierce competition from South American soybeans, U.S. share is anticipated to remain 50 per cent.

A lower import estimate for MY2013/14 is due primarily to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) outbreaks on the island. Taiwan first reported PEDv in October 2013 and incident reports increased in February 2014. A modest PEDv impact estimate is 5 per cent of domestic hog herd, with 300,000 affected piglets. Pork prices are at record highs with the Council of Agriculture (COA) seeking remedies and intervening in the market, trying to appease consumers and media. However, local hog auction market price continues to be high, above NT$80/kilo whereas COA estimates that prices should not exceed NT$75/kilo based on current supplies.

Swine and poultry are the two most important livestock sectors in Taiwan. Swine and poultry feed combined claimed 89 per cent of the 2012 total feed output. Local swine and poultry sectors have managed to remain competitive with imported pork and poultry meat products since Taiwan liberalized its markets as part of its 2002 WTO accession.

Oversupplies in 2012 and offsetting PEDv outbreaks in 2013 and 2014 realize the domestic hog production forecasts for coming years as relatively stable, or 8.5 million head. Domestic poultry production seems be able to sustain at approximate 360 million birds on slaughtered, with an exception year in 2013. Total poultry production in 2013 had a 9 per cent drop from the previous year due mainly to avian influenza concerns resulting in a ban on the marketing of fresh-killed chicken, impacting the native tugi birds.

Soybean oil demand estimates are revised down due to emerging trans-fat and GE labeling requirements as well as local scandals involving mis-labeled cooking oils. Taiwan had 26 thousand metric tons (TMT) of net exports of soybean oil to the neighboring countries exports last year. Soybean oil share is estimated at 54 per cent in MY2012/13, a 3 per cent drop. Palm oil held a 35 per cent share, a 6 per cent increase from the prior year.

Further Reading

You can view the USDA GAIN: Taiwan Oilseeds and Products Annual 2014 report by clicking here.

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