October 17, 2008


Japan's beef consumption climbs on high imports



Beef consumption in Japan improved in August on-year, largely due to higher imports from the US and Australia, backed up by the strong performance of the fast food sector.


According to data, Japan consumed 70,219 tonnes of beef in August, up 10 percent from last year. Although consumption was still 26 percent lower than August 2001, 2008's volume was just below August 2003 at 73,607 tonnes, indicating the gradual recovery in Japan's beef consumption.


The growth was supported by the increase in imported beef consumption, up 18 percent to 43,001 tonnes, the highest monthly volume since December 2007.


The Japanese school holidays during August, combined with rising food costs and consumers' preference for lower value foodservice meals contributed to brisk sales in the western and Japanese fast food sectors, both of which are major users of Australian frozen beef.


Increased supplies of US beef also assisted the growth of imported beef consumption, as US imports into Japan surged by 61 percent on-year to 6,440 tonnes in August.

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