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Pineapple has become a new bone of contention between Taiwan and China. Beijing has decided to suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples from March 1.
Beijing surprised the Taiwanese authorities last Friday by announcing the ban on pineapple imports from the rebel island that China still considers its territory. According to Chinese authorities, the fruit contains insects that are dangerous for its agriculture. An argument refuted by the Taiwanese authorities according to which the Middle Empire simply wants to put economic pressure on the island, in addition to its ongoing military intimidation. This is a big blow for Taiwanese producers, for whom China is the main market for this fruit.
Last year Taiwan exported around 46,000 tonnes of pineapples, over 90% of which went to the Middle Kingdom, which despite tensions between the two countries remains the island’s main economic partner. In this context, in order to help farmers sell their produce, the Taiwanese government is calling on these citizens to eat more pineapples. The latter, much appreciated by the Taiwanese, is also the most exported fruit from the island.
Thanks to its tropical climate, Taiwan produces more than 500,000 tons of pineapples of several varieties each year, mainly in the center and south of the country. Despite this quantity, Taiwan is far from the major world producers such as Costa Rica, the world‘s largest producer with more than 2.9 million tonnes, followed by Brazil and the Philippines. Second exotic fruit cultivated after bananas, the world produces around 26 million tonnes per year.