Australian grainfed beef to Japan increases in 2014-15

08 July 2015

Australian beef exports to Japan in 2014-15 increased 9% on the previous year, reaching 303,519 tonnes swt (Department of Agriculture). Japan’s market share of Australian beef exports, however, declined two percentage points over the same period, to 22%.

The largest proportion of shipments to Japan was frozen grassfed product, totalling 124,924 tonnes swt – this volume remained relatively unchanged year-on-year. Chilled and frozen grainfed beef to Japan registered considerable growth in 2014-15, compared to the previous year, largely assisted by Japan’s gradual economic recovery, lower tariff rates as a result of Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, and tight supplies of US beef into the market. Chilled grainfed shipments increased 26% year-on-year, to 97,315 tonnes swt, while frozen grainfed volumes lifted 18%, to 46,371 tonnes swt.

In contrast, chilled grassfed beef exports declined 10% in 2014-15, to 34,909 tonnes swt, possibly due to reduced demand from the foodservice sector, as well as increased demand for the product by US buyers.

Manufacturing beef continued to be the major product exported to Japan in 2014-15, at 110,567 tonnes swt – up 7% year-on-year. There was a 3% increase in volumes of brisket, at 47,770 tonnes swt, while blade exports were up 12% year-on-year, 19,589 tonnes swt. Chuck roll and fullset shipments for the 12 months to June were 25% and 9% higher, respectively, at 20,187 tonnes swt and 19,015 tonnes swt.

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