JAPANESE Wagyu beef export destinations have expanded, reports Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), with new markets now on the list.
Japan exported 92.2 tonnes swt of beef (predominantly high value Wagyu) in June, up 24 per cent year-on-year according to MLA figures, with product sent to 17 markets which included new destinations like Holland, the UK, Belgium and the Philippines.
While the total volume remains extremely small, its average value – increasing 5pc from June 2013, to 6,513 yen/kg (A$68.13) – and the government’s geared up efforts to expand the trade, make Japan’s position rather unique in global beef trade.
Shipments for the first six months of this year totalled 531.2 tonnes swt, 22pc higher than the corresponding period in 2013. Besides established markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the US, and new destinations above, product have also been sent to Tajikistan, Bangladesh, and Mongolia.
The Australian Wagyu Association says Australia currently exports up to 15,000 live Wagyu feeder cattle to Japan annually, but the future market growth is expected to be boxed Wagyu beef exported to global markets.