Japanese carcase prices high in 2006

JAPAN - Carcase prices for Japanese beef were higher in 2006, as supply continued to be limited.
calendar icon 1 February 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

According to figures released by Tokyo Meat Market (Tokyo Shokuniku Shijo), average carcase prices of Wagyu steer A5 (top grade for both yield score and meat quality score under the Japan Meat Grading Association scheme) and A4 (top yield score with 'good' overall meat quality score) in 2006 increased by 31 yen to 2,493 yen/kg and 2,205 yen/kg, respectively. Compared with 2000 averages, A5 was up 1.6% and A4 up 16%.

Dairy steer B3 (69-72% estimated yield with an 'average' meat quality score) prices were up 27 yen to 947 yen/kg, while B2 (same yield score as B3 but meat quality score is 'below average') prices also increased, up 41 yen to 860 yen. Compared with levels in 2000, B3 had a small increase of 3% and B2 a 4% increase (B3 increase calculated based on data collected by MLA).

Increases for the year were largely due to decreased domestic slaughter and to some shift in consumer demand from F1 (crossbred) to Wagyu and dairy steer beef.

The only exception to the increased average prices in 2006 was for F1 carcases, with B3 prices easing 33 yen, to 1,480 yen/kg, and B2 prices falling 86 yen, to 1,255 yen/kg. Higher slaughter of these carcases, along with a shift in consumer preference towards Wagyu and dairy beef, also contributed to the decline in prices for F1. However, even for F1 carcases, average prices were still higher than pre-BSE levels, with F1 B3 and B2 grades up 21% and 27% above 2000 levels, respectively.

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