Imports of fresh and frozen pork to Japan picked up in the last quarter of 2011 and for the calendar year
increased five per cent on 2010 levels to 793,000 tonnes. This was mainly due to a 10 per cent increase in
fresh pork shipments, although frozen imports also increased by three per cent.
For 2011 as a whole, total consumption was up two per cent despite a two per cent decline in the availability of domestic product. The US was the dominant supplier of pork imports, accounting for 41 per cent, a slight increase from 2010. The EU maintained its market share at 28 per cent.
Frozen product accounted for 68 per cent of total imports in 2011, a slight decrease from the 69 per cent share in 2010. The US overtook Denmark as the largest supplier, with shipments up by almost eight per cent year on year while Danish deliveries fell by two per cent. Canada continued to be the third major supplier,
although shipments fell by 10 per cent year on year. Imports of frozen pork from the EU increased by seven per cent between 2010 and 2011, with considerable growth in imports from smaller suppliers such as Poland, Spain and Ireland.
Fresh and chilled pork imports were 10 per cent higher than the previous year at 254,000 tonnes.
Looking forward, it is anticipated that the weak Japanese economy and domestic situation will continue to
affect the pork market in 2012. Nevertheless, pork production is forecast to show a small recovery and
consumption is projected to hold steady. However, increased domestic pork supply is expected to restrict
import demand in 2012, with significant further growth unlikely.
Friday February 24, 2012/ European Market Survey-BPEX/ United Kingdom.