Japan's Beef Imports up 4% in 2011

JAPAN - In 2011, Japan’s imports of beef increased by four per cent year-on-year to 517,231 tonnes swt, despite the prolonged slow economy, the March 2011 natural disaster, and a series of beef safety incidents in the market, reports Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
calendar icon 1 February 2012
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Meat & Livestock Australia

However, this growth was mainly driven by the increased presence of the US, with Australia lowing market share during the period, especially in the chilled beef category.

Chilled beef imports during the year totalled 213,400 tonnes swt (up one per cent year-on-year), with volumes from the US expanding 40 per cent to 61,916 tonnes swt, largely assisted by the weak US$. In contrast, the strong A$ undermined the price competitiveness of Australian chilled beef, with shipments falling 10% to 139,763 tonnes.

Imports of frozen beef were up five per cent from 2010 to 303,831 tonnes swt, supported by firm demand from the fast food and food processing sectors. In 2011, supplies from the US were up 24 per cent to 58,689 tonnes swt, while Australian volumes remained steady at 198,979 tonnes swt (up one per cent).

Total beef imports during 2011 were the highest since 2003, but still 10 per cent lower than the pre-US BSE year, and below 28 per cent compared with 2000 when beef consumption peaked in Japan.

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