Japanese Beef Imports down 15 per cent in November03 January 2013
JAPAN - Import figures for November 2012 are down 15 per cent year on year at 40,727 tonnes swt of beef, data released by Japan's Ministry of Finance has stated.
This drop is attributed to the reduced intake of frozen Australian meat, Meat and Livestock Australia have reported.
With the Japanese foodservice sector – the major outlet of imported frozen beef in Japan – facing challenges under the tough economic climate, importers were careful not to overload their inventories. As a result, imports of frozen briskets and ‘other’ frozen beef (mostly manufacturing beef from Australia) fell 11 per cent from last year to 9,762 tonnes swt and 35 per cent to 8,274 tonnes swt, respectively during the month.
In comparison, chilled beef imports were relatively steady at 18,744 tonnes, down 7 per cent from 2011 but 2 per cent higher than the five-year average.
Shipments from the US declined year-on-year for the first time since October 2010 (except April 2012 due to the post-quake high imports in 2011) to 10,502 tonnes swt (7 per cent lower than 2011), triggered by tight supplies and strong prices. The average C&F value of the US chilled shoulder/round during the month increased 10 per cent from the same time in 2011 to 562 yen/kg, and US frozen brisket value surged 38 per cent to 413 yen/kg.
The eleven months total in 2012 amounted 477,710 tonnes swt (1 per cent higher than the same time in 2011), with the Japanese trade predicting the yearly imports to exceed 520,000 tonnes swt.