Jun 27, 2011


Japan's meat market demand remains sluggish



Rain, humidity and uncomfortably warm temperatures persist to affect Japan, consequently, lowering demand for meat overall.


Australian beef export trading this week reflected the weaker mood, with buyers taking time before committing to orders.


Demand for chilled beef has been particularly slow in June, while frozen beef shipments to Japan have been somewhat better. As of June 20, frozen beef exports to Japan totalled 11,879 tonnes swt, reaching 75% of June 2010 volumes. Chilled shipments during the same period accumulated to 7,583 tonnes, only 65% of the year-ago level.


The media reported that there were diminished cattle herd numbers in the disease and disaster affected areas. The number of Japanese Black Wagyu in the Miyazaki prefecture, one of the major Wagyu producing areas that had severely been hit by the outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease last year, declined 21% on year in May, to 196,804 head. The herd in the Iwate/Miyagi/Fukushima prefectures also fell by 4%, to 210,258 head, devastated by the earthquake, tsunami and the evacuation due to the nuclear crisis. The two producing areas account for approximately 23% of total black Wagyu cattle herd in Japan (1.76 million head in May 2011).

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