Japan to Resume Normal Beef Import Tariffs After Emergency Hike Ends

Japan is set to restore tariffs on frozen beef from the United States and other countries to usual levels from April 1, ending a hike put in place eight months earlier to protect domestic producers as an emergency, a government official said on Friday.

Between Aug. 1 and March 31, the duty was raised to 50 percent, from Japan’s standard 38.5 percent rate, as a surge in imports triggered a long-standing “safeguard” mechanism, threatening access to the biggest Asian market for U.S. beef farmers.

A parliamentary vote set for later on Friday is likely to renew the safeguard mechanism in the next fiscal year starting on Sunday, meaning tariff hikes can be automatically triggered in future should similar import surges occur.

But the official with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the 50 percent tariff is unlikely to return in the near future, as March import figures - due out in late April - are not expected to show a surge in imports.

The increase last August was the first time the tariff mechanism had been tripped for beef imports since August 2003. The move hit eateries serving hamburgers and popular “gyudon” beef bowls hard, since they rely on frozen imports.

 

Latest News

Profit Tracker: Cattle Margins Crumble, Hog Margins Solid

Cattle and hog finishing margins were headed in opposite directions last week, with lean hog prices enjoying a three-week rally while cattle prices were stuck in neutral for a second week.

Cattle Stranded On Ship Docked In Spain To Be Destroyed

Nearly 900 cows are set to be euthanized by Spanish authorities fearing bluetongue after the cattle drifted for more than two months on the Mediterranean Sea while the owners searched for a buyer.

<p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p>
Stronger Undertone In Stocker And Feeder Prices

Auction markets noted firm demand and a stronger undertone last week for grazing cattle with spring now less than a month away. Auctions were in full-swing again after the previous week's winter storms.

Drovers Weekly Cattle Markets Update

Here's this week's update on cattle prices.

Identify ‘Dud’ Bulls With A Breeding Soundness Exam. Free Webinar Offered

DVMs Bob Larson and Jennifer Koziol will discuss how to evaluate bulls so only those that can get a high percentage of exposed cows pregnant in a short period of time are turned out into the breeding pasture this spring.

heifer auction
Relationships Build Resiliency

Livestock auction markets are built on relationships, but for LMA member market owners and employees, the importance of relationships isn't limited to sale day.