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Japanese Gate Price Standstill Expected

31 January 2008

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

JAPAN - Japan is expected to continue with the current method of calculating its beef import safeguard into Japan fiscal year (JFY) 2008, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

This could help to forestall additional duties on imported beef in the event of an import surge, although access for US beef is still severely constrained by age restrictions and complicated import controls, because of concerns over BSE.

Japan’s Tariff and Foreign Exchange Council recommended extending the JFY 2007 beef safeguard calculation for another year, back in December.

FAS said that the council’s recommendation is expected to be approved by the Diet before April 2008.

If implemented in JFY 2008 (April 08 – March 09), it will be the third year in a row that Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has managed the beef safeguard under a special measure.

Under the special measure, additional duties will not rise from 38.5 per cent to 50 per cent unless beef imports exceed 117 per cent of an average of JFY 2002 and 2003 or 117 per cent of the previous year imports, which ever is higher.

On preliminary basis, the trigger level for the first quarter of JFY 2008 (April 08 – June 08)was calculated at 74,339 tonnes for chilled beef. The volume is 6,962 tonnes larger compared to the level calculated under the ordinary method. For frozen beef the previous fiscal year’s imports are used as a basis for calculating the 82,945 tonnes trigger point (because it produces a larger number than a calculation based on a JFY 2002-2003 average).

For the second quarter of JFY 2008 (April 08 – Sept. 08), the trigger level is calculated at 152,455 tonnes for chilled beef. This is 21,675 tonnes above what the trigger level would otherwise be.

For further details of the Japanese safeguard calculation go to http://www.fas.usda.gov/gainfiles/200712/146293363.pdf

TheCattleSite News Desk



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