TOKYO, June 12 — Japan’s food exports rose 20% in April from a year earlier on strong demand for wagyu beef and fishery products, the government said.
Shipments of products such as agri-food, meat and seafood totaled 77.6 billion yen in April, 12.8 billion yen higher in the same month a year earlier, according to data from the agriculture ministry.
Wagyu beef exports soared 30% to 1.9 billion yen due to rising demand in the U.S. and Hong Kong as well as Taiwan lifting a 16-year import ban.
Fish and seafood exports jumped 40% to 30 billion yen in the same month a year earlier thanks to a recovery in harvest of scallops after bad weather.
By destination, food exports to China gained 51% on-year to 14.6 billion yen, whose figure was closer to Hong Kong, Japan’s largest food exporting market.
Combining January to April, the nation’s food exports rose 13% to 283.1 billion yen from the same period a year earlier.
Last year, the nation’s agriculture exports reached a record 807.1 billion yen, but at a slower pace than the government hoped for.
Japan has set a target of 1 trillion yen in agricultural exports by 2020, and it needs a 10% annual growth rate in the next two years, if it wants to reach the target.