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Cattle Slaughter in Japan to Ease

24 January 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

JAPAN - Challenging trading conditions are expected to add pressure to Japanese beef production, with the Japanese trade media Shokuniku Sokuho forecasting a decline in slaughter numbers during 2014, at 1.15 million head, down 2.8 per cent year-on-year.

Meat and Livestock Australia says that ccording to the media, turn off of Japanese Black Wagyu, dairy beef cattle, and F1 (Wagyu and Holstein cross) are estimated to reach 508,400 head (down 3.9 per cent from 2013), 396,832 head (down 1.5 per cent), and 227,725 head (down 3.1 per cent) in 2014, respectively.

Estimates were based on Japan’s traceability system which records animal’s movements, as well as their exact age and breed type.

While Japan’s recovering economy is assisting a lift in public sentiment, the trend is yet to make a great difference in beef demand.

Japanese domestic beef consumption during January to November 2013 was down two per cent compared with the same time in 2012, according to supply and demand data by Japan’s Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corporation.

In the meantime, Japanese lot feeders are facing high calf prices, largely due to short supply, and increasing feed costs.

Japan relies on the majority of its feed requirements on imports, resulting in small and/or aging producers leaving the industry.

The number of beef cattle farms in Japan declined from 116,500 in 2000, to 61,300 in 2013.

The Japanese cattle herd as of December 2013 was 3.95 million head - down by four per cent from 2012.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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