Frozen Beef Imports Underpin Volumes in Japan

JAPAN - Japan imported 46,502 tonnes swt of beef in June, up 30 per cent compared with low volumes last year, when importers cut back to avoid triggering the safeguard for frozen beef (data released by Japan’s Ministry of Finance), reports Meat and Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 2 August 2012
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Meat & Livestock Australia

The safeguard is a mechanism agreed upon with Japan in the Uruguay Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. It gives the Japanese Government the option to increase the beef tariff from 38.5 per cent, to 50 per cent for the remainder of the Japanese fiscal year, once the trigger levels are exceeded.

The bounce back from last year, combined with the market’s demand for lower value items increased frozen beef imports during the month by 75 per cent year-on-year to 28,512 tonnes swt. Australian product supplied 60 per cent of the total, up 73 per cent from last year, to 17,170 tonnes swt.

In contrast, the intake of chilled products from Australia was limited to 10,733 tonnes swt (down 14 per cent from 2011), while imports from the US increased two per cent from last year to 6,255 tonnes swt.

Japan’s Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corporation forecasts beef import volumes in July to ease four per cent year-on-year to 46,700 tonnes swt, but expects an increase in chilled products (up five per cent to 18,800 tonnes swt), largely due to the US.

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