JAPAN - Australian lamb exports to Japan increased 32 per cent in 2014, compared to the previous year, at 10,127 tonnes, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
While Japan is a relatively small market for Australian lamb, in volume terms, it is a steady market with well-established end users – particularly Genghis Khan sheep meat barbeque restaurants.
Chilled shipments lifted 10 per cent year-on-year, to 5,744 tonnes, while frozen volumes for the year surged 76 per cent to 4,383 tonnes.
The overall increase is reflective of a combination of factors, including higher Australian supplies, the improving Japanese economy and the recovery of the tourism sector in Hokkaido – a major sheep meat consumption region in Japan.
Lamb shoulders (5,915 tonnes) made up the largest proportion of shipments to Japan in 2014, following a 59 per cent year-on-year increase in volume, while manufacturing shoulder meat totalled 2,407 tonnes.
Australian mutton exports to Japan were 35 per cent higher year-on-year, at 5,116 tonnes– primarily underpinned by frozen volumes lifting 36 per cent in 2014, to 5,019 tonnes. Japan took a fairly even split between backstrap (1,433 tonnes), leg (1,648 tonnes) and manufacturing (1,630 tonnes) during the year.
TheMeatSite News Desk