Japanese Beef Imports Fall in April

JAPAN - Japanese beef imports during April declined 23 per cent year-on-year, to 37,147 tonnes swt – the lowest April volume since 2002.
calendar icon 4 June 2012
clock icon 1 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

While beef demand during April is historically strong, high prices from both the US and Australia appeared to have lessened interest from Japanese buyers this year, accentuated by the price conscious Japanese consumer. Steady supplies of Japanese beef (at lower carcase prices than last year) and plentiful stocks of imported chicken may also have shifted the focus of end-users from imported beef.

Import volumes for April (the amount of beef that was customs cleared in Japan during the month) from Australia declined 24 per cent year-on-year, to 24,373 tonnes swt – with ‘frozen other’ (mostly manufacturing beef) intake falling 58 per cent on last year, to 7,052 tonnes swt. Shipments from the US were also limited to 8,468 tonnes swt (down 21 per cent), but US chilled volumes remained steady with the corresponding period in 2011, at 5,197 tonnes swt.

Australian beef export trading this week reflected the market’s subdued sentiment, with indicative prices to Japan softening from last week. Chilled grassfed prices in the Japanese wholesale market averaged lower than last week, due to both increased stocks and lower interest in the market.

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