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Frozen Beef Imports Surge

01 September 2011
Meat & Livestock Australia

JAPAN - Beef imports during July increased 12 per cent year-on-year to 48,319 tonnes swt, as importers cleared significant volumes of frozen items after avoiding the triggering of the safeguard in June, reports Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

MLA reports that the safeguard is a trade mechanism that allows Japan to increase the beef tariff rate from the current 38.5 per cent to 50 per cent for the reminder of the Japanese fiscal year (to March 2012), once cumulative import volumes exceed trigger levels set for each quarter.

In July, imports of frozen beef surged to 30,489 tonnes swt, up 31 per cent year-on-year, and the highest since November 2010.

The chilled volume was down 11 per cent from 2010, impacted by slow and uncertain beef demand as a result of food safety incidents (food poisoning, radioactivity in domestic beef).

MLA states that imports from Australia continued to be pressured by competition from the US, with the monthly total being just under the last year at 29,274 tonnes swt (down one per cent).

In contrast, US volumes reached 12,619 tonnes (up 48 per cent), the highest on record since the resumption of imports into Japan in July 2006.

The calendar year to July total increased six per cent from the same time last year to 288,572 tonnes, with Australia accounting for 66 per cent of the imported market (73 per cent in 2010), followed by US at 22 per cent (16 per cent).

TheCattleSite News Desk


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