Japan

Spain was the EU leader in pork exports to Japan in Q1 2018

Pork

Japan imported 2% less pork in the first quarter of 2018 compared to year-earlier levels, down to 220,100 tons in volume, and 116 billion Yen in value, according to the data released by Japan's Ministry of Finance, analyzed by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Despite this overall drop, Spain managed to increase its pork exports to Japan becoming the country's top supplier of pork from the European Union.

Posted on May 10 ,15:02

Spain was the EU leader in pork exports to Japan in Q1 2018

AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins explained that the drop was mainly based on the 6% year-over-year decline in pork imports from the United States, which lost a percentage point of its share in this market.

Another fall in shipments was reported by Canada, which exported by 3% less pork to Japan compared to year-earlier levels (down by 1,300 tons).

"This particularly reflects sharp declines (-14% and -33% respectively) in frozen pork shipments from these two countries during the quarter," said Wilkins.

The EU frozen pork shipments to Japan accounted for over 60% of the country's total imports. Wilkins says that compared with the situation reported by the shipments from the US, Japanese pork imports from the EU were stable on the year during the quarter.

Imports from Spain were up 11% year-on-year (+2,700 tonnes), the Netherlands 13% (+700 tonnes), Germany 6% (+300 tonnes) and Italy 19% (+500 tonnes). Conversely, imports from Denmark, typically the largest EU supplier, were down 9% (-2,500 tonnes). This meant Spain became the primary EU trader.

Wilkins says the demand for foreign pork was lower in Japan in the first quarter because of a significant drop in pork wholesale prices. In March, average prices reached the lowest level since early 2013.

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