Exports of “Wagyu” beef to the United States have been increasing in the first quarter of 2017 at a faster pace well above that in the same period of the previous year when the export to U.S. hit an annual record.
Demands for the Wagyu beef are continuously growing among many high-class restaurants in U.S. cities.
It is expected that exports of Japanese beef to U.S. will surely exceed its country-specific low-tariff quota on Japanese beef of 200 tons before the end of 2017.
A tariff of 4.4 cent per one kg, equivalent to an ad valorem tax of 0.06 percent, is imposed to Japanese beef imported through the low-tariff quota at the U.S. ports, while U.S. imports above the quota are charged the full tariff of 26.4 percent.
Last year, sales of Japanese beef to U.S. reached an all-time high of 244 tons, exceeding the low-tariff quota for the first time.
According to the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an amount of Japanese beef subsequent to customs clearance during a period from January 1 to April 3, 2017 increased to 83 tons, which has already filled as much as 42 percent of the annual low-tariff quota.
Officials of the Japan Livestock Products Export Promotion Council are closely watching the market situation in the United States, saying “Exports of our “Wagyu” beef are increasing to fill the low-tariff quota earlier than last year.”
With a view to meeting strong demands of U.S. consumers for Japanese beefs, they are seeking for the possibility to export cheaper parts of the Japanese beef such as ribs to U.S. by paying the full tariff.