Japan Likely to Hike Tariffs on Frozen Beef Imports from U.S., Others

Japan is likely to raise tariffs on frozen beef imports from the United States and some other countries to protect domestic producers against imports, according to local media, pending import data due out on Friday.

Tariffs on frozen beef would jump to 50 percent from the current 38.5 percent between Aug. 1 and the end of March next year if a "safeguard" mechanism designed to protect domestic farmers is triggered by the import data, local reports said on Thursday, without citing sources.

An increase would be the first time in 14 years the mechanism has been tripped, and would come as U.S. President Donald Trump tries to expand the American exports to Japan.

A tariff increase is automatic if quarterly beef imports from all nations and from countries that do not have economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with Japan both rise more than 17 percent from a year earlier, said an official with Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

If detailed Ministry of Finance trade data due out at 9:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) on Friday confirms a surge in beef imports high enough to trigger the increase, the finance ministry would make an official announcement, probably on Monday, said the farm ministry official who declined to be identified.

"We have not been given any projected figures, and I won't know until the data is out," the official said.

Nations that have EPAs with Japan, such as Australia, Mexico and Chile, will be excluded from any hike in tariffs, he said.

A Tokyo-based official with the U.S. Meat Export Federation said it cannot comment now, but added that the federation is set to issue a statement if Japan makes an official announcement.

Frozen beef imports from the United States have risen this year as another major supplier, Australia, was hit by drought, the Yomiuri daily newspaper said.

Still, the beef import figures for June would have to show a significant leap to trigger the tariff increase.

In April-May, the first two months of the current fiscal year, frozen beef imports from all nations rose 7.6 percent to 62,436 tons, with U.S. shipments rising 14.8 percent from a year ago to 20,530 tons, the data showed.

Japan's frozen beef imports in the year ended March 31, 2017, rose 2.2 percent to 286,000 tons, and included 94,300 tons from the United States, farm ministry data showed.

Frozen beef imports made up more than half of the total beef imports in the last business year.

 

Latest News

Cash Fed Cattle 5 Weeks Steady

The first week of March saw warm temperatures across most of the Central Plains, but cash cattle prices were frozen in neutral with feeders unable to wrangle additional market leverage.

Vaccine Available To Kansas Meatpacking Workers

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Thursday that every meatpacking plant worker in Kansas who wants a COVID-19 vaccination can get one by the end of next week.

2021-2022 Henry C. Gardiner Scholarships Winners Announced

Five Kansas State University students were named recipients of the 2021-2022 Henry C. Gardiner scholarships, awarded to students meeting rigorous criteria and exhibiting a commitment improving the beef industry.

Norbrook® Launches Cefenil® RTU Generic Injectable

Norbrook, Inc. launches Cefenil® RTU – generic ceftiofur hydrochloride injectable for treating common diseases like swine bacterial respiratory disease and foot rot, bovine respiratory disease and metritis in cattle.

Star Ranch Angus Brand Refresh

Carrying branded programs such as Tyson's Star Ranch Angus beef has benefits for both retailers and consumers. Shoppers still associate branded programs with better quality, better value and more consistency.

Embracing the Positives in Sustainable Cattle Production

Cattlemen are the original climate heroes, preserving natural resources, while producing safe, affordable and abundant protein. Speakers at NCBA's Winter Reboot discussed how cattle production contributes to society.