Japanese beef exports to Taiwan outperform pre-BSE levels

TOKYO, Oct. 15 ― Japanese wagyu beef exports to Taiwan are recording a rapid growth in the past 12 months after the neighboring Asian country lifted 16-year bans on imports of the meat from Japan in September 2017.

Taiwan’s appetite for Japanese beef collapsed following the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in Japan in 2001.

Shipments of Japanese beef exports to Taiwan from September 2017 to August 2018 totaled 616 metric tons, with export value topping 4.1 billion yen, data from the finance ministry showed.

That was 30 times higher in volume than the pre-BSE levels. Exports of Japanese beef to Taiwan stood at 19 metric tons with value of 200 million yen in pre-BSE era.

Beef exports to Taiwan in the first six months through June made Taiwan as No.1 destination for Japanese beef exports. And Taiwan now has a 20 percent share of Japanese beef exports.

The strong export rebound was mainly due to strength in the food services, said an official from the Japan Livestock Products Export Promotion Council.

“Taiwan has a culture of hotpot eating, which uses leaner beef. So, demand for combined wagyu beef and beef variety meat boosted the overall export volume,” the official added.

The Japanese meat council has organized a series of promotional events in Taiwan with trade networking, product sampling and a Japanese-style eating reception highlighting alternative cuts.

Such events coincide at a time when Japan’s National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Association (JA ZEN-NOH), the marketing arm of JA group, opened its marketing base in Taiwan in August last year.

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