Japan's Beef Wholesale Prices Falling

JAPAN - Wholesale prices of beef have been declining recently in Japan as supplies increased sharply in June following the nation's partial relaxation of import conditions for American beef, industry analysts say.
calendar icon 18 July 2007
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Japan's imports of U.S. beef in June rose to 1.5 times the level a month earlier to about 4,300 tons, due partly to the partial easing of import conditions, according to preliminary data from the Animal Quarantine Service office.

The average price of a beef carcass at the Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, however, fell about 15 percent from its February level to 1,069 yen per 1 kilogram as of July 6.

Beef prices had moved at high levels over the past few years due largely to the government's import restrictions on U.S. beef until July last year due to mad cow concerns.

In addition to the supply increase, industry analysts pointed to a change in Japanese eating patterns as a reason behind the price decline. After Japan banned imports of U.S. beef, consumers moved away from the meat, resulting in sluggish beef consumption at home and in restaurants, they said.

Source: Yahoo Asia News
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