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Taiwan grouper exports continue to show growth

TAIPEI -- Exports of groupers bred in Taiwan are on the rise and are expected to continue growth thanks to the country's “high competitiveness,” the Council of Agriculture said Wednesday.

The exports leapt from 9,937 metric tons of the live fish exported in 2011, to 15,450 metric tons in 2012 and 17,663 metric tons in 2013, according to official figures.

In addition to being able to meet specific criteria, such as size and breed, Taiwan's advanced farming technologies and technical know-how help to maintain a competitive edge in the global market, the council said in a statement.

China is the largest importer of Taiwan-bred groupers, and the growth of exports across the strait has sped up since tariffs were cut under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), signed between Taiwan and China on June 29, 2010.

The 4,159 metric tons of live groupers sold to China in 2010 nearly doubled to 7,876 metric tons the following year before jumping again to 12,309 metric tons in 2012 and then growing slightly in 2013 to 14,234 metric tons.

During the first three months of the year, live grouper exports to China hit 5,043 metric tons — over one third of last year's total.

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