Taiwan is hoping to expand its exports of green soybeans to the US because its main market — Japan — seems to be saturated, according to a local researcher.

Taiwan harvests about 42,000 tonnes of green soybean products, such as edamame, each year, with the majority of the products exported to 19 countries around the world, said Chou Kuo-lung (周國隆), an associate researcher at the Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station.

Japan is Taiwan’s largest export destination for the product, buying about 30,000 tonnes a year, while the US is second at around 2,000 tonnes a year, Chou said.

JAPANESE SATURATION

“The Japanese market has grown saturated over the past two years,” Chou said, adding that export volume was down slightly last year after rising in previous years.

Exports of green soybeans, both shelled and in a shell, to Japan in the first 11 months of last year fell 2.18 percent from a year earlier, pointing to the need for Taiwan to think about diversifying its markets.

“We aim to expand exports to other countries, especially to the US,” Chou said, hoping to see exports to the US double this year to about 4,000 tonnes.

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