November 27, 2003



Japanese Beef Imports Increase 9% Versus Last Year

Japan reported 50,930 tons of beef imports in October this year, an increase of 9% on last year and 28% on October 2002. However compared to October 2000 which is pre-BSE levels, it is down by 9.9%.


Imports of chilled beef comprised 24,062 tons of the total. This marks an increase of 10% on September, and 20% on October 2002.  Frozen imports rose 7% on September and 37% on October 2002 to reach 26,868 tons. 


However it is still unlikely that the December quarter frozen safeguard trigger level will be exceeded, though imports were seen to increase significantly. It is expected that an average of 30,538 tons of frozen beef can be imported in each month of October, November and December before the frozen safeguard is triggered in December 2003 quarter.


Japan October beef imports is dominated by the Australian beef market; 51% of beef imports came from the country. Another 45% came from US. In the calendar year to October, 49% of beef imports were sourced from Australia, with 46% from the United States.

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