TOKYO, Aug. 23 ─ Frozen vegetable imports from China continue to rise thanks to strong demand from Japanese retailers, industry sources have said.
Frozen vegetable import volume reached a record high of 304,415 metric tons in 2016, according to the finance ministry.
The imports in the six months to June 2017 rose 12% to 160,060 metric tons, exceeding that of the same period a year earlier. The demand is strong and the trends will continue in the second half, some Japanese trading companies said.
The data shows that frozen vegetable imports have been led by spinach, corn and broccoli. Potato imports have grown due to a poor harvest in the northern island of Hokkaido after heavy rains this year.
In 2002, pesticide residue had been found in frozen vegetables imports from China, such as spinach and cauliflower, and those incidents posing serious health concerns to Japanese consumers had impacted imports.