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Japan Beef Market Damp

28 June 2011
Meat & Livestock Australia

JAPAN - Rain, humidity and uncomfortably warm temperatures continue to grip Japan, damping demand for meat overall, reports Meat and Livestock Australia.

Australian beef export trading this week reflected the weaker mood, with buyers taking time before committing to orders.

Demand for chilled beef has been particularly slow in June, while frozen beef shipments to Japan have been somewhat better. As of 20 June, frozen beef exports to Japan totalled 11,879 tonnes swt, reaching 75 per cent of June 2010 volumes. Chilled shipments during the same period accumulated to 7,583 tonnes, only 65 per cent of the year-ago level.

Japanese trade press Chikusan Nippo reported this week diminished cattle herd numbers in the disease and disaster affected areas. Numbers of the Japanese Black Wagyu in the Miyazaki prefecture - one of the major Wagyu producing areas that had severely been hit by the outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease last year - declined 21 per cent year-on-year in May, to 196,804 head.

The herd in the Iwate/Miyagi/Fukushima prefectures also fell by four per cent, to 210,258 head, devastated by the earthquake, tsunami and the evacuation due to the nuclear crisis. The two producing areas account for approximately 23 per cent of total black Wagyu cattle herd in Japan (1.76 million head in May 2011).

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