July 4, 2008

 

More Japanese opts for cheaper meat imports amid food inflation
  
  

The Japanese, known to have a strong loyalty to domestic produce, are now less willing to pay higher prices for domestic products due to food inflation and tightening wallets, according to a survey by the Agricultural Finance Corporation of Japan (AFC).

 

The survey said 84 percent of respondents would check if the product was domestically produced or imported from overseas. About 64 percent are prepared to buy domestic produce even if the price was up to 10 percent more expensive than imports, a drop of 10 percent from 74 percent in July 2007, the survey said.

 

The survey reported that 16 percent of respondents were prepared to spend 30 percent or more for Japanese beef, which is about 70-200 percent more expensive than imported beef. This suggests that more Japanese consumers would choose domestic beef if the price difference between domestic and imported beef were smaller.

 

The average real income per household in April declined 1.6 percent to JPY 470,000 (US$4,400). Average consumption and food expenses also dropped 2.7 percent and 3.1 percent to JPY 311,000 (US$2900) and JPY 66,000 (US$618.6) respectively, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan.

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