Japan Imports Less Beef in October

Japan’s beef imports in October fell by seven per cent from the last year, to 36,080 tonnes, according to Meat and Livestock Australia's market analysts.
calendar icon 3 December 2007
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Out of total shipments, 83 per cent (or 29,957 tonnes) were supplied by Australia, and nine per cent (or 3,396 tonnes) by the US (Japan’s Ministry of Finance – MOF). The recent increase in beef CIF prices suggests reduced returns among the Japanese trade.

Imports from Australia fell 14 per cent on the previous year, while shipments from the US also declined from last month’s 3,749 tonnes. Imports from New Zealand increased 26 per cent, to 1,900 tonnesand Canada both increased their shares, by reaching (up 26 per cent on 2006) and 336 tonnes (up 20 per cent), respectively.

MLA said that imports by cut data revealed continuing demand for shoulder and butt cuts (36% of total imports), as well as briskets (27 per cent), although brisket seemed to have lost the rapid volume growth that it had maintained since the US return last year.

Pork imports increased 13 per cent, to 63,533 tonnes, while chicken imports showed another sharp rise of 62 per cent, to 33,664 tonnes, largely due to the unusually low volume in 2006, as well as forecast price increases from Brazil.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that the Japanese finance ministry's data also included CIF import prices of beef and pork during the April to September 2007 period, chilled beef shoulder and butt import prices increased by 8%, and pork (cuts unspecified) by one per cent. This suggests squeezed returns in beef trade among the Japanese industry, considering relatively unchanged meat prices at retail, as well as at foodservice.

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