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USDA International Egg and Poultry

26 September 2012

USDA International Egg and Poultry - 26 September 2012USDA International Egg and Poultry - 26 September 2012

Broiler production is expected to increase by 3% in 2012 as Japan recovers from outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and the earthquake in March 2011. An oversupply of unsold broiler meat, high levels of broiler stocks in storage, and plummeting market prices are all indicating the severity of the surplus. Lower imports and national output are expected to correct the current surplus.
USDA International Egg and Poultry

For the first half of 2012, as total distribution of broiler meat clearly outpaced solid consumption, the market was flooded with chicken meat. Surplus stocks appear to be putting a burden on Japan’s 2012 broiler market. For the month of June, the size of frozen broiler stocks was reported to have swelled from the previous year to 152,780 MT, adding 5,400 MT to unsold meat inventories at the end of 2011.

During the first half of 2011 there was a significant amount of uncertainty regarding future prospects of domestic production (a fear of long-term supply shortage). According to a trade source, Japan’s retail and food service users, including traditional end users of domestic cuts, have temporarily switched to imports to cover a portion of their annual needs. These purchases are said to be on the basis of one-year contracts, ending mostly by mid-2012.

In 2011, Japan’s total broiler imports spiked by 14% from the previous year, to 894,565 MT. (Breakdowns: Broiler meat up 12% with Brazil claiming 88% share total; Prepared Products of Broiler Meat up 15%, with China and Thailand together accounting for 99%.) Japan’s robust imports, which were made to respond to any potential shortages, partially contributed to the ample year-ending stocks, estimated up by 35% compared to the year beginning 2011 at 147,000 MT. The recent expansion of prepared products from China and Thailand may also be attributing to the accumulation of the surplus stocks of broiler meat this year.

Higher market prices for imported broiler meat, coupled with current surpluses, are expected to reduce imports in 2013. Japan’s imports from the U.S. are projected at roughly the same as the previous year, unchanged at 35,000 MT. Imported prepackaged products are the one exception that has maintained solid demand in Japan.

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