TOKYO, Aug. 11 — According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF), Japan’s export of agricultural, forest and fishery products and food during the first half of the year 2017, from January to June, was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis to 378.6 billion yen. Export of rice grains, beef, and tea leaves was especially strong because of the popularity of Japanese food outside the country.
Agricultural products including processed food in the six-month period totaled 228.4 billion yen, up 2% from the same term last year. Rice export jumped 27% to 1.5 billion yen (5,600 tons). This includes brown rice export that Japan has been promoting by exploring new needs of high-income consumers mainly in Singapore and Hong Kong. “Thanks to the Japanese cuisine boom, local Japanese restaurants are other food shops are buying more from Japan,” MAFF Export Promotion Division explained.
Export of beef boosted 57% to 7.8 billion yen, thanks to the strong sales of Japanese beef mainly in the U.S. Promotional activities of Japanese ways of eating beef, such as sukiyaki, contributed to the result. Sales of tea leaves grew 27% to 6.8 billion yen, also thanks to the healthy food boom. On the contrary, apple export dropped by almost 30% both in terms of value and quantity, due to bad clop in Aomori Prefecture in the previous year.
Export of forestry products soared by 34% to 17.3 billion yen, thanks to the rise in demand in China and the U.S. Export of fishery products increased 6% to 132.8 billion yen.