Japan Beef Imports Down In October

JAPAN - Japan imported 33,513 tonnes swt of beef in October, down 32 per cent year-on-year.
calendar icon 2 December 2010
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Meat & Livestock Australia

The fall was largely due to decreased intake from Australia (down 36 per cent from October 2009), and possibly residual stocks in the market after the sharp increase in imports during September (up 43 per cent year-on-year, the largest volumes since July 2005), according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

Frozen beef imports from Australia during October halved when compared with September (22,042 tonnes) to 11,535 tonnes, and were back 48 per cent from 12 months earlier. Chilled volumes for the month also declined, falling to 11,318 tonnes - 17 per cent below October 2009.

Imports from the US were down 10 per cent year-on-year at 7,375 tonnes, with chilled volumes increasing 7 per cent to 3,722 tonnes, while frozen shipments declined 23 per cent to 3,653 tonnes. The CIF value of US frozen briskets in October averaged 340 yen/kg, down 18 per cent from a year ago despite the reduced import volumes (down 26 per cent to 2,643 tonnes).

In the 10 months to October 2010, total Japanese beef imports stood almost on par with 2009, at 402,574 tonnes swt (1,855 tonnes less or down 0.5 per cent). Volumes from Australia and the US during the ten months totalled 286,326 tonnes (down 7 per cent year-on-year) and 70,623 tonnes (up 23 per cent from last year, but still only 32 per cent of the pre-BSE 2003), respectively.

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