August 11, 2011
Japan's June beef stocks show increase
Japanese June beef stocks has risen on the back of subdued consumer spending, food safety incidents in May and rapidly rising US demand.
According to figures released by Japan's Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corporation, estimated beef stocks (total of domestic and imported products) in June accumulated to 91,877 tonnes (boneless equivalent), up 19% on-year. Broken down by category, imported frozen beef inventory (71,173 tonnes) was 27% greater than a year ago and the highest since March 2003.
Besides slow beef consumption in the market, the increased intake from the US may have also added pressure on stock levels. January to June imports from the US totalled 51,680 tonnes swt, up 50% on last year.
Adding to the existing issues, consumer sentiment towards beef has now been impacted by the radioactive contamination issue, which was first reported in early July. While Australia's reputation for safe and clean beef should be a positive for consumers, the trade is concerned about the overall negative affect to beef as a result of the incidents.