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China’s Ban on Taiwan Pineapples Backfires as New Buyers Step In

  • March-June shipments to Japan surge eightfold from year ago
  • Beijing imposed sanctions earlier this year to undermine Tsai
Farmers load harvested pineapples onto a truck at a plantation in Nantou County, Taiwan, earlier in March.
Farmers load harvested pineapples onto a truck at a plantation in Nantou County, Taiwan, earlier in March.Photographer: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg
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China’s surprise ban on pineapple imports from Taiwan five months ago was widely viewed as an attempt to undermine President Tsai Ing-wen’s standing with a political constituency. Trade data show the move has produced anything but the desired effect.

First-half numbers collected by Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture show growers of the fruit on the island have fared better since China blocked imports starting March 1, as sympathetic Japanese shoppers stepped in to provide support. Shipments to Japan surged more than eightfold to 16,556 tons in the four months through June from a year ago. A domestic campaign to drum up demand also helped.