Japan Beef Consumption Down Five Per Cent In June

JAPAN - Hot weather and an uncertain economy has continued to subdue beef consumption in Japan, with June consumption volumes declining five per cent year-on-year to 67,601 tonnes (boneless equivalent).
calendar icon 11 August 2010
clock icon 1 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

Meat sales at supermarkets were generally sluggish during June, as higher than average rainfalls and temperatures hit the market, discouraging consumers to grill, fry, or slow cook at home. Take home food sales were firm, according to the Japan Chain Stores Association, but beef is rarely used in those ready made meals largely due to the relatively high costs.

According to Meat and Livestock Australia, the foodservice sector also weathered the tough conditions, with the Japanese style fast food businesses (mainly gyudon or beef rice bowl outlets) increasing numbers of customers (up three per cent year-on-year), but reducing total sales (down four per cent) as leading gyudon brands entered into low price competition.

Subsequently, both imported and Japanese domestic beef consumption declined five per cent from last year to 40,344 tonnes, and seven per cent to 27,257 tonnes, respectively. Imported beef stocks as of the end of June lifted two per cent year-on-year to 67,593 tonnes, the highest since December 2009.

In the meantime, the Japanese economy continued to send mixed signals. The Bank of Japan revised its GDP forecast from 1.8 per cent to 2.6 per cent for the current financial year, commenting on the stronger than expected exports and production. Yet, June unemployment lifted 0.1 per cent from the previous month to 5.3 per cent, indicating businesses' careful attitude in regards to the economic recovery.

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