Feb 03, 2023
According to the "Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Products Import and Export Information" released by Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on February 3, 2022, based on Ministry of Finance trade statistics, the value of exports of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food products (preliminary figures) increased 14.3% from the previous year to 1,414.8 billion yen (including 76.7 billion yen in small value cargo exports). In addition to a recovery in demand for food service due to the easing of action restrictions against new coronavirus infection in Asia and the U.S., the depreciation of the yen is believed to have boosted exports.
The top three exports were alcoholic beverages (139.2 billion yen, up 21.4% year-on-year) in first place, scallops (fresh, frozen, chilled, etc.) (91.1 billion yen, up 42.4%) in second place, and beef (including meat offal) (52 billion yen, down 4.0%) in third place. As for alcoholic beverages, the strong popularity of Japanese whiskey in China and the U.S. drove exports. For scallops, steady production in Hokkaido, the main production area, and higher unit prices due to rising demand overseas contributed to a significant increase in export value.
On the other hand, beef exports to the U.S., a major exporting country, declined 10.9% from the previous year. For beef exports to the U.S., a total of 65,005 tons, including quotas for multiple countries such as Japan and Brazil, is defined as subject to a low tariff quota. The drought reduced exports of Australian beef to the U.S., while exports from Brazil surged, causing the low tariff quota to be fully exhausted by the end of March 2022, when the tariff rate was raised to 26.4%.
The top three countries/regions in terms of export value were China (278.3 billion yen, up 25.2% from the previous year) in first place, Hong Kong (208.6 billion yen, down 4.8%) in second place, and the United States (193.9 billion yen, up 15.2%) in third. Other markets that saw substantial growth were Singapore (56.2 billion yen, up 37.3%), the Philippines (31.4 billion yen, up 51.6%), and Australia (29.2 billion yen, up 27.1%). In China, e-commerce (electronic commerce) sales of food products, such as online supermarkets and live commerce (see note), expanded due to the new coronavirus disaster, and demand for food retailing remained healthy even under the action restrictions imposed by the new coronavirus infection control measures. In other Asian countries and the U.S., exports are expected to have benefited from a recovery in demand for food services following the lifting of behavioral restrictions, as well as from the increased price competitiveness of Japanese food products due to the weaker yen.
On the other hand, exports to Hong Kong were affected by a decline in demand for items for food service, such as alcoholic beverages (down 21.4% YoY to 11.6 billion yen), due to the re-introduction of strict business regulations for restaurants in the first half of 2022 as a result of the serious spread of Omicron strain infection.
In 2022, exports grew at a faster pace than the previous year, reaching 1 trillion yen in October, etc. Toward the goal of increasing export value to 5 trillion yen by 2030, the Japanese government, in its Export Expansion Action Strategy revised in December 2022, has been working to strengthen export capabilities through all-Japan efforts led by authorized product groups, and to promote the development of Nishikigoi The Japanese government will also work to expand exports of products that are popular overseas and have large potential for growth, such as Nishikigoi carp.