Japan beef imports reach new high

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beef imports, Import, Beef

Japan beef imports reach new high
Japanese beef imports hit their highest monthly volume for 13 years in July, according to data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

The country imported 69,051 tonnes (t) swt of beef during the month, a 37% year-on-year increase and the highest monthly volume since April 2000. The surge brought total Japanese beef imports for the first seven months of 2013 to 311,616t swt, a 7% increase on the same period in 2012.

Analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) said the jump in imports was primarily supply driven and the result of “a clearance of backlogged shipments and the ongoing inroads of US product into the market”.

They pointed out that Japan, which eased age restrictions on US beef in February, imported 89% more beef from the US in July 2013 than July 2012, with totals reaching 28,056t swt. Frozen beef imports saw the biggest increase of 159% year-on-year to 19,347t swt.

“The higher import volumes during the month were also due to Japanese importers holding back Customs clearances in June, avoiding the triggering of the tariff-increasing safeguard system,”​ said the MLA analysts.

The MLA also revealed that Japanese consumers are spending more on meat as the economy continues to improve. Analysts said that data released by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs had revealed that expenditure on beef was up 8.1% year-on-year to ¥1,481 per household, while consumption was up 3.4% to 540g per household.

They added that people in Japan were also spending more on eating out, driven by a 1.3% year-on-year increase of incomes.

Related topics: Meat

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