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Japan to Extend Safeguard Triggers

24 December 2008

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

JAPAN - Japan’s Tariff and Foreign Exchange Council has recommended extending the current beef safeguard calculation for another year.

When implemented, the safeguard calculation method will be used for Japanese fiscal year (JFY) 2009 (1 April – 31 March).

The Council’s recommendation is expected to be approved by the Diet (parliament) before April 2009.

When adopted, additional duties will not be levied unless beef imports exceed 117 per cent of average 2002 and 2003 levels or 117 per cent of the previous year imports, whichever is higher.

If the safeguard were to be triggered, the duty on beef imports would rise from 38.5 per cent to 50 per cent.

This will be the fourth year in a row that Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has ma naged the beef safeguard under this special measure.

Below is our preliminary calculation for the first two quarterly trigger levels (April – June 09 and April - September 09) of JFY 2009. This estimate has been made for both chilled beef and for frozen beef based on year to date imports for JFY 2008.

Chilled Beef Triggers
Chilled Beef Quarterly Trigger Levels
1st Quarter (April – June 09) 74,339 MT (117 per cent Average of 2002 – 2003)
1st - 2nd Quarter (April – Sept. 09) 152,455 MT (117 per cent Average of 2002 – 2003)

Note: 2008 chilled beef import levels remained relatively low (year to date), mainly due to a decline in Australian supplies. Thus, the JFY 2009 chilled product trigger levels will be based on 117 per cent of the average 2002 – 2003 imports as specified by the special measure.

Starting from a much lower base, Japanese imports of American beef (chilled) shot up 86 per cent or 18,673 MT over the same period. This reflects increased market acceptance and indicated strong market potential if age restrictions and other measures against U.S. beef were to be dropped.

Frozen Beef Triggers
Frozen Beef Quarterly Trigger Levels
1st Quarter (April – June 09) 83,263 MT (117 per cent of April – June 08)
1st - 2nd Quarter (April – Sept. 09) 164,488 MT (117 per cent of April – Sept. 08)

Note: For frozen beef, the JFY 2009 product trigger levels will be based on 117 per cent of the previous year 2008 imports, as specified by the special measure trigger levels.

Trigger levels for April – December period will be calculated once the actual imports are announced.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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