PEDV recovery leads Japanese pork imports to fall
The latest figures show that Japanese pork imports in the first three months of 2015 fell by 7% compared to a year earlier, to 173,400 tonnes.
However the figure in 2014 was raised due to the emergence of PEDV in Japan, which led to a fall in domestic production and therefore an increased reliance on imports. This fall in imports shows that the Japanese industry is beginning to recover from the outbreak as domestic production can cover more of demand. In addition, high stock levels and subdued consumer demand are also contributing to the lower need for imports. The total value of Japanese imports only fell 2% to ¥96.2 billion, as higher average unit values offset the fall in volumes.
The EU continued to be the largest supplier of pork to Japan but volumes fell 11% compared to 2014, as exports from Denmark, the largest supplier of pork to Japan in the EU, fell by over a quarter. This fall caused the EU’s market share to fall to 32% from 34% the year earlier. Other large suppliers of pork from the EU to Japan actually increased shipments, with Spain and the Netherlands both increasing their exports by almost half. Japanese imports from non-EU countries also declined, falling 5% from year earlier levels. This was driven by a 12% fall in shipments from the US, while volumes from Chile dropped by 43%. However, the United States remained the leading country supplier, accounting for 33% of the total. This was partially offset by increased imports from both Canada and Mexico, which increased by 8% and 9% respectively.