Canada And Mexico Eye On Japanese Beef Market

JAPAN - They are still small players in the imported beef market in Japan, but Canadian and Mexican beef export associations have ramped up their promotional efforts to make their presence known to Japanese end-users.
calendar icon 2 December 2009
clock icon 1 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

In late November, the Canada Beef Export Federation (CBEF) held a seminar in Tokyo focussing on their production, traceability, and food safety systems. CBEF reportedly have a target of sending 22,000 tonnes of beef to Japan in 2015. In the calendar year to October, Japan imported 6,002 tonnes swt of Canadian beef (one per cent of total imports), 37 per cent of pre-BSE volumes in 2002.

In the meantime, the Mexican trade conducted a consumer beef promotion, and a tasting event for the Japanese foodservice, both held in Tokyo. The Japanese media has reported that the organisation will roll out various activities to promote Mexican beef in the international market. Japan’s Mexican beef imports this year (January to October) have reached 8,112 tonnes (two per cent of total imports), up five per cent year-on-year.

Mexico signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan in 2004, and their presence in the Japanese beef market has been enhanced since then. At present, the FTA allows reduced tariff rates for beef and offal products from Mexico, up to 6,000 tonnes swt per year.

Currently, imported beef accounts for approximately half of total beef required in Japan. Australia is a dominant supplier in this category (76 per cent of the total imports), followed by the US (14 per cent) and NZ (six per cent).

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