100 Top Consumer Products for Selling to Importers in Taiwan

Formally the Republic of China, Taiwan is a strategically located island in East Asia near key international trade partners including mainland China, Japan and the Philippines.

Taiwan is sometimes called Chinese Taipei, Taiwan Province of China, ROC or in earlier times Formosa.

The island country in East Asia has a land area of 13,826 square miles (35,808 square kilometers), Taiwan is home to 23.6 million residents at April 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund, ranking Taiwan among the 20 crowded countries with the highest population density.

Mandarin and Formosan languages are commonly spoken by locals in Taiwan. Facilitating its role in international trade, English is taught as a foreign language in Taiwan. The Taiwanese government has proposed to make English a second official language by 2030.

Taiwan is the world’s 19th richest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a Purchasing Power Parity basis, generating $1.404 trillion worth of products and services as of April 2021.

Taiwan’s demand for imported goods represents a subtotal US$76.4 billion worth of Taiwanese spending on the 100 most valuable consumer products imported into the East Asia island country during 2020.

That consumer-driven dollar amount represents just over a quarter (26.6%) of the overall value of all goods imported into Taiwan. Overall spending on all Taiwanese imports, including raw materials, intermediate products and semi-finished goods, totaled $287.2 billion in 2020.

Among Taiwan’s most valuable consumer products in 2020 are: phone devices including smartphones; cars; refined petroleum oils; computer parts or accessories; and coal.

Spending on all of Taiwan’s imported goods flatlined via a 0.4% from 2019 to 2020. Taiwan’s purchases focused on its top 100 consumer imports posted a more aggressive 4.9% increase over the latest annual period.

The acceleration in Taiwanese spending for its top 100 imported consumer products outpaced the global average from 2019 to 2020, which was an average drop of -8.2% for all importing countries around the world.

Among the top 100 consumer products imported by Taiwan, 68 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 32 declined.

Changes in Taiwanese consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.

Consumer Products Defined

Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.

Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.

Types of Consumer Products

This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.

Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.

Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.

Speciality Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.

Taiwan’s Most Valuable Imported Convenience Products

The list below showcases the most valuable imported convenience products on which buyers in Taiwan spent the most. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level and are presented in descending order.

You can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020 by focusing on the percentages displayed to the right of each product name.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$5,574,462,000 (down -18.9%)
  2. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $4,946,175,000 (down -29.1%)
  3. Medications: $3,126,988,000 (up 4.9%)
  4. Soya beans: $1,039,259,000 (up 1.2%)
  5. Corn: $888,505,000 (down -9.3%)
  6. Other food preparations: $694,945,000 (down -1.7%)
  7. Miscellaneous plastic items: $690,263,000 (up 16.6%)
  8. Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs): $664,987,000 (down -12.6%)
  9. Frozen beef: $628,101,000 (down -0.6%)
  10. Crustaceans (including lobsters): $440,512,000 (up 7.9%)
  11. Fresh or chilled beef: $430,161,000 (up 13%)
  12. Plastic packing goods, lids, caps: $413,532,000 (up 8.1%)
  13. Other organic cleaning preparations: $310,748,000 (up 17.6%)
  14. Whole fish (frozen): $268,012,000 (up 2%)
  15. Malt extract, food preparations: $258,929,000 (down -9.7%)
  16. Moluscs: $245,315,000 (up 1.4%)
  17. Concentrated/sweetened milk: $242,643,000 (up 10.8%)
  18. Apples, pears (fresh): $240,611,000 (down -13.6%)
  19. Poultry meat: $235,518,000 (up 15.8%)
  20. Sugar (cane or beet): $229,913,000 (up 0.5%)
  21. Uncoated paper for writing/printing: $223,657,000 (down -4.7%)
  22. Wine: $215,770,000 (up 3%)
  23. Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners: $211,838,000 (up 2.1%)
  24. Malt beer: $205,322,000 (up 3.9%)
  25. Coffee: $200,904,000 (up 11.1%)
  26. Whole fish (fresh): $192,138,000 (down -2.2%)
  27. Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries: $180,795,000 (up 9.6%)
  28. Swine meat: $175,499,000 (down -20.8%)
  29. Miscellaneous fruits (fresh): $163,939,000 (up 4.9%)
  30. Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes: $161,523,000 (up 2.4%)
  31. Cheese, curd: $158,165,000 (up 10.5%)
  32. Palm oil: $156,613,000 (up 19.6%)
  33. Fish fillets, pieces: $152,663,000 (up 16.8%)
  34. Cherries/peaches/nectarines/plums: $147,906,000 (down -5.8%)
  35. Sauces, mixed condiments, seasoning: $142,015,000 (up 8.6%)

 Convenience products led by the products listed above represent the Asian country’s second-most popular import product type attracting Taiwan’s international spending behind shopping products but ahead of speciality goods.

Non-durable consumer products are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Alcoholic beverages and bananas are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.

Taiwan’s Most Valuable Imported Shopping Products

Below, the list highlights the most valuable imported shopping products on which buyers in Taiwan spent the greatest amounts. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level and are presented from highest to lowest total amounts.

The percentages displayed to the right of each product name reveal the highest increases or decreases in Taiwanese spending on that specific type of shopping product from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Phones: US$6,388,983,000 (up 11.9%)
  2. Cars: $6,060,209,000 (up 9.8%)
  3. Computer parts, accessories: $5,275,220,000 (up 34.6%)
  4. Computers, optical readers: $4,000,769,000 (up 13.8%)
  5. Unrecorded sound media: $2,500,109,000 (up 46.4%)
  6. Electrical converters/power units: $2,207,228,000 (up 22.3%)
  7. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $1,820,703,000 (up 19.8%)
  8. Automobile parts/accessories: $1,641,931,000 (up 7.2%)
  9. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $1,122,025,000 (down -0.9%)
  10. Insulated wire/cable: $1,031,397,000 (up 17.6%)
  11. Cases, handbags, wallets: $754,579,000 (down -4.9%)
  12. Miscellaneous glass articles: $550,479,000 (up 32.5%)
  13. Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items: $519,960,000 (down -3.5%)
  14. Printing machinery: $477,754,000 (down -11.6%)
  15. Microphones/headphones/amps: $463,385,000 (up 32.5%)
  16. Miscellaneous furniture: $407,204,000 (up 7.9%)
  17. Video console games, table games: $402,854,000 (up 76.7%)
  18. Rubber tires (new): $400,998,000 (up 2%)
  19. Orthopedic appliances: $387,804,000 (up 2.3%)
  20. Prepared glues, adhesives: $384,051,000 (up 12%)
  21. Footwear (textile): $349,616,000 (down -12.2%)
  22. Miscellaneous iron or steel items: $323,018,000 (up 15.2%)
  23. Packaged insecticides, herbicides: $321,562,000 (up 12.9%)
  24. Miscellaneous toys: $318,500,000 (up 1.8%)
  25. Seats (not barber/dentist chairs): $312,044,000 (up 6.9%)
  26. Miscellaneous aluminum items: $290,491,000 (up 30%)
  27. T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet): $273,658,000 (down -3.7%)
  28. Sports equipment: $238,874,000 (up 20.3%)
  29. Shoe polish, furniture/floor waxes: $230,290,000 (up 23.1%)
  30. Footwear (leather): $228,734,000 (down -1.3%)
  31. Trucks: $224,457,000 (up 19.5%)
  32. Electric lamps: $218,326,000 (down -3.2%)
  33. Wrist/pocket watches (regular case): $214,697,000 (down -13.6%)
  34. Fish or meat flours, pellets: $210,911,000 (up 2.2%)
  35. Women’s clothing (not knit/crochet): $210,838,000 (down -5.5%)
  36. Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet): $201,266,000 (down -9.2%)
  37. Lubricant/anti-rust preparations: $188,129,000 (down -5.9%)
  38. Vulcanized rubber items: $181,302,000 (up 6%)
  39. Hair preparations: $180,497,000 (up 1.2%)
  40. Shaving preparations, deodorants: $175,567,000 (down -2.6%)
  41. Paints, varnishes: $172,768,000 (up 14.4%)
  42. Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins: $156,986,000 (down -2.3%)
  43. Soap, organic surface-active goods: $156,697,000 (up 9%)
  44. Paper containers, cellulose wadding: $151,241,000 (up 2.9%)
  45. Men’s suits (unknit/non-crochet): $147,212,000 (down -4.5%)
  46. Wrist/pocket watches (precious case): $146,704,000 (down -2.7%)
  47. Motorcycles: $146,009,000 (up 31.2%)

 Focusing on the scope of this analysis, shopping products is Taiwan’s most popular category ahead of both convenience products and speciality items.

Shopping products approach half (47) of the overall top 100 Taiwanese imported consumer goods.

Durable consumer products are goods like cars, refrigerators and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. Note that shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer products.

Taiwan’s Most Valuable Imported Speciality Products

Speciality products represent the category with the fewest entries among Taiwan’s imports that attracted the country’s spending on imported consumer goods during 2020.

Selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level, the most valuable speciality items are listed in descending order below.

The percentage to the right of each product name reveal highest increases or decreases in 2020 compared to 2019.

  1. Gold (unwrought): US$1,978,985,000 (up 58.2%)
  2. Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools: $1,107,048,000 (up 7.3%)
  3. Beauty/makeup/skin care: $851,244,000 (down -15.5%)
  4. Electric storage batteries: $740,304,000 (up 1.5%)
  5. Temperature-change machines: $547,877,000 (down -5.8%)
  6. Air conditioners: $528,622,000 (up 15.2%)
  7. Silver (unwrought): $524,259,000 (up 54.8%)
  8. Electric generating sets, converters: $516,114,000 (up 95.9%)
  9. Jewelry: $434,079,000 (down -24%)
  10. Refrigerators, freezers: $428,605,000 (up 10.9%)
  11. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $422,040,000 (up 10%)
  12. Liquid pumps: $386,752,000 (up 9.2%)
  13. Dishwash, clean/dry/fill machines: $181,914,000 (up 11.7%)
  14. Washing machines: $176,492,000 (up 8.5%)
  15. Special hand/machine tools: $155,134,000 (up 1.3%)
  16. Household base metal mountings: $155,090,000 (up 13%)
  17. Electromechanic appliances: $147,661,000 (up 16.1%)
  18. Vacuum cleaners: $139,799,000 (down -3.8%)

 Like shopping products, speciality products are considered as durable consumer products.

Based on the product types identified in the sections above, 65 of Taiwan’s 100 highest-value consumer shopper plus speciality products are durable while the remaining 35 convenience products are classified as non-durable.

Taiwan’s Overall Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports

Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into Taiwan that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Electric generating sets, converters: Up 95.9% (US$516.1 million)
  2. Video console games, table games: Up 76.7% ($402.9 million)
  3. Gold: Up 58.2% ($2 billion)
  4. Silver: Up 54.8% ($524.3 million) 
  5. Unrecorded sound media: Up 46.4% ($2.5 billion)
  6. Computer parts, accessories: Up 34.6% ($5.3 billion)
  7. Microphones, headphones, amplifiers: Up 32.5% ($463.4 million)
  8. Miscellaneous glass articles: Up 32.5% ($550.5 million)
  9. Motorcycles: Up 31.2% ($146 million)
  10. Miscellaneous aluminum items: Up 30% ($290.5 million)

Three among the above top 10 gainers are speciality products and therefore also durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. This trio of fastest-growing speciality products in demand by importers in Taiwan are comprised of electric generating sets or converters, unwrought gold and unwrought silver.

The 7 fastest-growing shopping products are: video console games and table games; unrecorded sound media; computer parts or accessories; microphones, headphones and amplifiers; miscellaneous items made with glass; and motorcycles.

Absent from the above list of top sales growers are non-durable imported consumer products.

Taiwan’s Overall Worst-Declining Consumer Imports

Spending by import buyers in Taiwan on the following 10 items decreased in value by the highest percentages from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: Down -29.1% ($4.9 billion)
  2. Jewelry: Down -24% ($434.1 million)
  3. Swine meat: Down -20.8% ($175.5 million)
  4. Processed petroleum oils: Down -18.9% ($5.6 billion)
  5. Beauty/makeup/skin care: Down -15.5% ($851.2 million)
  6. Apples, pears (fresh): Down -13.6% ($240.6 million)
  7. Wrist/pocket watches (with regular case): Down -13.6% ($214.7 million)
  8. Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs): Down -12.6% ($665 million)
  9. Textile footwear: Down -12.2% ($349.6 million)
  10. Printing machinery: Down -11.6% ($477.8 million)

Three categories among Taiwanese top 10 severest decliners are durable shopping products used over a period of time. The worst slippage among those categories was for Taiwan’s imported wrist or pocket watches with regular cases, textile footwear and printing machinery.

The strongest declines for the 2 durable speciality goods belong to jewelry and beauty, makeup or skin care products.

There were 5 non-durable consumer product among Taiwan’s 10 major import decliners from 2019 to 2020, namely coal, swine meat, processed petroleum oils, fresh apples and pears, and alcohol including spirits or liqueurs.

Key Suppliers by Country

This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target demand for 5 of Taiwan’s top consumer import products.

Taiwan’s biggest imported consumer product by value is phone devices including smartphones.  The other 4 leading consumer goods imported into Taiwan are cars, processed petroleum oils, computer parts or accessories, and coal.

Below, you will find major supplying countries for Taiwan’s imported:

Phone devices including smartphones: China (74.9% of total), Vietnam (8.6%), Malaysia (2.1%), United States (1.8%), Thailand (also 1.8%), Mexico (1.5%), Singapore (1.4%), Japan (1.1%), Israel (0.5%), and India (0.4%).

Cars: Japan (36.1% of total), Germany (26.3%), United States (13.7%), United Kingdom (2.9%), Sweden (2.6%), Czech Republic (2.3%), Slovakia (2.3%), Hungary (2%), Mexico (1.8%), and Spain (1.6%).

Processed petroleum oils: United Arab Emirates (17.6% of total), South Korea (13.5%), Qatar (10.4%), India (9.5%), Russia (7.7%), United States (7.1%), Malaysia (6.7%), Algeria (5.2%), Singapore (2.4%), and Japan (2.3%).

Computer parts or accessories: China (68.5% of total), South Korea (7.6%), Philippines (3.4%), Malaysia (2.5%), Vietnam (2.3%), United States (1.2%), Mexico (0.4%), Japan (0.3%), Thailand (0.2%), and Singapore (also 0.2%).

Coal: Australia (54.1% of total), Indonesia (22%), Russia (15.4%), Canada (5.3%), South Africa (1.5%), China (0.9%) and Colombia (0.6%).

See also

More great research: Taiwan’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, 100 Most Valuable Imported Consumer Goods to Sell in Malaysia, 100 Best Consumer Goods for Selling to Importers in Russia, 100 Top Consumer Goods to Sell to Importers in Brazil, Sweden’s Top Imported Consumer Products Ranked by Value


Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Taiwan Economy.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.

Trading Economics, Taiwan Consumer Spending.

Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.

Wikipedia, Taiwan, Geography of Taiwan, Languages of Taiwan.

World’s Top Exports, Taiwan’s Top 10 Imports.

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