Japanese beef imports up 12% in January

TOKYO - Japan increased imports of beef by 12% in January 2007, in comparison with the same month in 2006. Australia was the major contributor to this volume lift, by adding 14% on the previous year's level.
calendar icon 1 March 2007
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According to figures released by the Ministry of Finance in Japan, total shipments in January were 38,698 tonnes swt, with Australia supplying 33,711 tonnes or 87% of total imports. The volume from the US decreased 31% to 1,687 tonnes from December (2,452 tonnes). Imports from New Zealand also dropped slightly to 2,397 tonnes from December's 2,478 tonnes.

Although beef consumption was apparently still subdued, the Japanese trade reported good sales in the Japanese style fast food sector. Japanese fast food outlets, mainly Gyudon or beef bowl, increased sales in January 2007 by 11.8% on the same month last year. Many Gyudon stores are now using Australian beef – a category dominated by American beef prior to the import ban in late 2003.

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