Japan is Australia's largest beef export market in volume and value terms. It is also one of valuable markets for Australian lamb and mutton exports.
Australian red meat exports to Japan
Despite contracting 6% year-on-year, to 288,796 tonnes swt, Japan remained Australia’s largest beef export market, taking 26% of all beef exported.
Japan also took 7,697 tonnes swt of lamb (10 tonnes more than 2012) and 3,787 tonnes swt of mutton (up 20% year-on-year) during 2013.
Japan’s beef consumption in 2013 totalled 864,512 tonnes swt (boneless equivalent), down 1% from the previous year.
Australian beef was estimated to have occupied 32% of the total beef market in Japan in 2013, down four percentage points from 2012.
The current tariff on beef is 38.5% (with the Safeguard snapback provision to the 50% bound rate). Separate tariff rates are applicable to offal and processed beef.
In April 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his counterpart Shinzo Abe agreed on the historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Tokyo, launching a new era for the bi-lateral partnership, which includes improved opportunities for Australian beef in Japan. As a result of the seven year-long challenging negotiations, the AJFTA will deliver tariff reductions on frozen Australian beef entering Japan, from 38.5% to 19.5% over an 18 year period, and for chilled beef from 38.5% to 23.5% over 15 years.
There is no import tariff imposed on sheepmeat to Japan.
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