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Japanese Beef Imports Down in February

09 April 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

JAPAN - The devaluation of the Japanese yen hit Japan’s beef imports in February, reaching only 30,724 tonnes swt – down 23 per cent year-on-year and the lowest monthly volume since January 2010, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

While the easing of the yen over the last three months certainly added momentum in Japan’s export sector and lifted confidence in the stock market, it also significantly increased the cost of imported products, including beef.

As a result, beef imports from all key suppliers including the US were down during February, with frozen beef shipments accounting only 77 per cent of the previous year’s total, at 16,645 tonnes swt.

Positive sentiments caused by the relaxation of US beef import protocols to cattle up to 30 months are likely to have assisted the chilled beef intake from the US, up five per cent from last year to 5,125 tonnes swt, while frozen beef volumes were rather subdued, down 11 per cent to 5,884 tonnes swt.

US prices remained strong during February, with the CIF value averaging 605 yen/kg for chilled shoulder/round cuts, up 16 per cent from a year ago and 421 yen/kg for frozen brisket, up 31 per cent. J apan’s Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corporation (ALIC) forecasts that March import volume will increase three per cent year-on-year to 38,400 tonnes swt, primarily on the back of increased supplies from the US.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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