Six fold increase in Irish pig meat exports to Japan

In the first nine months of 2014 Irish pigmeat exports to Japan showed a six fold increase in value to reach €31.4m, according to the latest CSO statistics.

According to Rabobank’s latest Q1 2015 report, the Japanese pork market is experiencing strong growth.

Alan O’Brien of Bord Bia’s Shanghai Office says aided by increasing beef prices and despite a rise in pork prices, consumption jumped by 6% in the first 10 months of 2014.

He says retail prices for domestic shoulders, loins and hams surged by 7.6%, 6.1% and 5% in October, while the price of imported pork grew by 10% in the same month.

According to O’Brien, the Japanese pork sector, similar to neighbouring South Korea, has been impacted strongly by the outbreak of PEDv last year, leading to a drop in domestic production of around 2.3%, which has led to increased import demand.

He also says that according to Rabobank, another key catalyst to import growth has been the strong depreciation of the JPY (-16% in 2014), which increased the price of pork at retail level by as much as 4%, encouraging import growth of 16% in the first 10 months of 2014.

O’Brien says forecasts for the first half of 2015 suggest a further decline in domestic pork production of around 2%, which, in line with the ongoing depreciation of the Yen (affecting domestic production competiveness), will continue to spur import growth in Japan.