Taiwan is expected to import up to 15,000 tons of peaches and nectarines in 2020, mainly from the US and Chile, according to USDA data. Taiwan’s own domestic peach and nectarine crop is forecast to be up 18% to 19,000 tons in 2020 thanks to generally favourable growing condition and orchards reaching maturity. Taichung and Taoyuan remain the largest producing regions, accounting for almost 80% of domestic production. Taoyuan mainly produces early sweet varieties, including honey peaches at the higher altitudes.
The Taiwanese are among the world’s largest fruit consumers. Wholesale chains have a strong preference for imported products because of their competitive prices compared to domestic production. Both the local sweet peaches and the honey peaches are considered premium fruits due to their taste and appearance. The honey peach is a local variety that stays on the tree until the end of the season when the weather gets colder and the sugars increase rapidly and the acids decrease. They often sell for ten times the price of regular peaches in retail.
Still, both the imported and domestic peaches from Taiwan are highly dependent on consumer whims. They will not hesitate to buy the most price-competitive fruit, but are not brand loyal. Total fruit consumption therefore continues to grow, but there is little loyalty to a particular variety.
Meanwhile, cherry imports are slightly higher than last year, at 12,000 tons, with few negative Covid-related effects observed on consumption patterns.