Higher Japanese imports driven by EU supplies
According to the latest figures, Japanese imports strengthened in the first quarter of this year, up by 4% on last year. The majority of the growth in pork imports stemmed from higher EU shipments.
According to the latest figures, Japanese imports strengthened in the first quarter of this year, up by 4% on last year. However, at 185,900 tonnes, volumes fell 6% below 2012 levels for the January to March period. While the US remained the primary supplier, imports were down by 8% year on year, perhaps partly due to the PEDv outbreak there. Volumes from Canada remained at a similar level to the previous year. The US and Canada account for just over half of the total imports into Japan. Mexico represents a much smaller share of the overall trade but imports from the country were up 29% on the year.
The majority of the growth in pork imports stemmed from higher EU shipments, a notable 14% year-on-year increase. The significance of the EU supply also increased, to more than a third of total shipments in the first quarter of this year compared with just over a quarter in 2012. Higher demand for EU pork could be attributed to an increase in US prices contrasting with subdued EU pork prices in the recent months. In particular, supplies from Spain were up by half in the January and March period compared with 2013, while imports from Poland suffered as a result of the ASF outbreak. With the gate price for imports fixed, the total value of imports also increased 4% in the first quarter of this year, to ¥98.6 billion.