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USDA International Egg and Poultry

09 October 2014

USDA International Egg and Poultry - Japan - 7 October 2014USDA International Egg and Poultry - Japan - 7 October 2014

USDA International Egg and Poultry


Total domestic broiler production is projected to reach 1.34 million metric tons (MMT) in 2014, up slightly from the 1.33 MMT in 2013. Post’s unofficial projection for 2015 is 1.36 MMT. In response to persistent solid market demand, relatively high market prices for domestic broiler meat may continue through 2014. Broilers comprise over 90% of Japan’s domestic poultry production, with spent hens comprising most of the remainder. Very few other poultry species are produced commercially, with the exception of a limited production of quail for eggs.

Total consumption in the above table accounts for domestic broiler meat output (dressed whole bird, bone-in), imported broiler meat (raw meat of bone-in as well as boneless cuts mixed with a high percentage of boneless cuts), and imported prepared and processed broiler meat products (cooked boneless meat). Stocks data includes domestic poultry meat as well as imported broiler meat (accounting for roughly 70 – 75 percent of total stocks), but does not include imported prepared and processed products. Surplus poultry stocks were balanced by reduced imports of raw broiler meat; stocks carried over into 2014 were 21% lower compared to the previous year, bringing total demand and supply into
balance compared to the 2012 situation.

Japan’s imports of raw broiler meat cuts rose 5% to 217.7 TMT in the first half of 2014. The increase was mainly attributed to Japan’s resumed imports of raw broiler cuts from Thailand (10.0 TMT) as well as an increase from the United States (13.0 TMT); imports from Brazil remained flat (192.2 TMT). Meanwhile, prepared product imports fell first half of 2014 to 200.0 TMT, with a 10% decline from Thailand (91.2 TMT) more than offsetting a 6% increase from China (107.2 TMT).

Thailand and Brazil appear likely to compete for Japanese raw broiler meat market share in the years ahead, while Russia’s increasing reliance on Brazilian and possibly Thai suppliers could have significant impacts on raw broiler meat price offers in Japan in 2014 and 2015. In light of the above, Post’s unofficial projections for Japan’s 2014 total broiler imports are to increase modestly to 880.0 TMT.

Raw broiler cut imports are projected up by 11% from the previous year to 460 TMT, supported by solid demand from food service and ready-to-eat foods, partially replenishing stocks. Projected imports from Brazil are unchanged at 390 TMT (85% share of the total raw broiler cuts market), imports from Thailand reaching 35 TMT from nil (8% market share),and imports from the United States up by 10% to 25 TMT (5% market share). Prepared product imports are projected down by 5% to 420 TMT, with imports from China, down by 10% to 200 TMT (48% share of the total prepared products market) and imports from Thailand unchanged from the previous year at 215 TMT (51% market share), partially supported by rebalancing of demand away from Chinese products. Japan lifted its Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) related import ban on raw poultry meat from Thailand in December 2013 and Thailand resumed commercial shipments to Japan for the first time in the past ten years in February 2014.

Resumption of Thai raw broiler meat imports has triggered a partial shift within Thailand’s export lineup away from prepared products towards highly portion-controlled raw broiler meat cuts. Included among those raw products are cuts marinated with sauces and flavored with seasonings for easy preparation by food service clients and ready-to-eat food businesses. Some Japanese end users prefer to use semi-processed raw broiler cuts to appeal to consumers’ preference for freshness. Also, as Thailand resumes raw broiler meat exports to Japan, future competition with Brazil seems imminent and could intensify in 2014; a trade source notes that Brazil remains price competitive. Brazil’s lower export offer prices from the second half of 2013 through 2014 is expected to sustainJapan’s 2014 imports from Brazil at nearly same level as the previous year.


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