Pork Sales to Japan Grow Despite Challenges

IRELAND - A strong second half to the year could see Ireland’s pork exports to Japan exceed 4,000 tonnes, surpassing 2008 volumes.
calendar icon 13 September 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

The recovery in Irish pork sales to Japan has defied a challenging market which has seen overall per capita consumption decline.

In June per capita spend on pork was 6 per cent lower than the same month in 2009 at 606JPY (€5.66), the lowest in over 12 months. A similar year on year comparison for chicken shows consumption remaining comparatively firm relative to 2009. The fact that demand for chicken has held firm is a reflection of the tendency of consumers to seek out less expensive meats during difficult economic times.

Decline in pork consumption has impacted domestic processors also. For instance Nippon Meat Packers Inc, Japan’s largest meat processor reported sales fell to 953,616m JPY (€8.9 billion) for the year to 31 March 2010. Itoham also reported a decline in sales for the year ending 31st March 2010 of 7.1 per cent. However processed foods divisions suffered less and both companies have forecast a recovery to sales growth for the current financial year.

Despite the difficulties in the market, imports have increased, with overall volumes of frozen pork up by 12 per cent to 322,000 tonnes for the first 7 months of the year. Much of the increased demand is a result of lower domestic inventory. The market has been in a process of rebalancing supply and imported volumes are expected to remain steady through the second half of this year.

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