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Exports Warrant Development, Says Producers

by 5m Editor
18 April 2008, at 8:22am

CHINA - Domestic pig producers are alling for for the government to help them develop more export opportunities for pigs and/or pork products to mainland China to secure viable operations.

Pan Lien-chou, chairman of the ROC Swine Association, said that aside from talks on cross-strait direct flights and entry of Chinese tourists, the new government can negotiate with Chinese authorities on exports of pork products to mainland China, as well as imports of corn and soybean powder from the other side of the Taiwan Strait. President-elect Ma Ying-jeou's new government will take office on May 20

Pan said the hog price in China averages at NT$8,200 per 100 kilograms, some NT$1,800-1,900 higher than the average price of NT$6,300-6,400 in Taiwan. In addition, the hog price in China will keep trending upward due mainly to strong market demand there.

By contrast, the auction prices offered in many local counties and cities range from NT$6,300-NT$6,300 per 100 kilograms, better than before. But the production cost has risen to NT$6,500 per 100 kilograms as a result of the rising import cost for corn feed.

Losses

As a result, farmers will suffer losses for every hog sold in Taiwan, Pan said. "If local hogs can be sold to mainland China, local farmers can secure stable profits to cover their losses seen over the past few years," Pan continued. Accordingly, Pan stressed, the new government should place Taiwan's hog exports to China on the agenda of cross-strait talks on economic and trade exchanges, to help local hog farmers secure viable operations.

Meanwhile, Yang Ho-bei, chairman of the Taiwan Livestock Industry Development Association, said that mainland China is an exporter of corn products, and therefore the government here should liberalize corn imports from China to help reduce the production cost of domestic hog farmers.

On another front, Yang said, Taiwan can export 50,000 hogs to mainland China per month. This, in turn, is expected to help stabilize domestic hog prices or pork products.

Ready for Quality

Also yesterday, Chen Li-ling, a division chief of the agricultural development department under the Taoyuan County Government, said the county is ready to export high-quality hog or pork products to mainland China. She suggested the Council of Agriculture take charge of the affairs.

But COA officials said since the exposure of the food-and-mouth disease (FMD)in Taiwan some 11 years ago, exports of hogs or pork products should be subject to strict inspections required by the governments of export destinations.

According to the National Animal Industry Foundation, Taiwan has resumed small-scale pork exports, shipping some 1,000 metric tons to Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and mainland China in the first three months of the year. Of them, 400 metric tons were exported to China, which are then processed and exported to Japan.

5m Editor