Weak recovery of US beef in Japan after six months

US - The twenty-seventh of January marked six months since the import ban on US beef was lifted in Japan, and various news sources reported the anniversary with remarks on the slow recovery of US beef in the Japanese market.
calendar icon 2 February 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Supply uncertainties due to current import restrictions, higher prices and lack of consumer confidence were quoted by the media as reasons for the weak trading in US beef. Major retail chains such as Aeon, Daiei and Ito-Yokado have not stocked US products so far, waiting until the public is confident about the safety of US beef. Furthermore, many supermarkets have filled the void left by US products with Australian grainfed beef. One supermarket chain, Inageya, stated that the recent popularity of Australian beef is due to the increase in grainfed beef that is more suited to Japanese tastes (Nikkei, 27 January 2007).

Meanwhile, the US has been increasing pressure on Japan to start negotiations in May on lifting the current age limit of under 21 months to under 31 months, after the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) raises the official BSE safety status of US beef.

Despite some reports by the US media, no formal communication has been made by MAFF (the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) so far regarding the timetable for review of the box inspection procedure (which currently entails inspection of every single box). This procedure is slow and costly for importers, and appears to be one of the main factors limiting import volumes from the US at present.

TheCattleSite News Desk
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.