Japan food exports rise in September on wagyu beef and fruits

TOKYO, Nov. 24 ― Japan’s food exports rose for the seventh consecutive month in September, thanks to largely to appetite for wagyu beef and fruits in neighboring Asian countries, official data has showed.

Total shipments of agriculture products, processed foods and seafood soared 14% to 79.2 billion yen in September from a year earlier, according to the agriculture ministry.

The primary agricultural products, which constitute half of total agricultural exports, increased 14% to 48.7 billion yen.

Among those products, wagyu beef rose 18 to 2 billion yen, partly due to a rapid growth in Taiwan after the neighboring Asian country lifted 16-year bans on imports of the meat from Japan in September 2017.

Shipment of table grapes also rose 10 percent to 1.1 billion yen and that of apples surged 39% to 800 million yen as the harvest season has just been peaking.

In the nine months through September, exports of agricultural products rose 15% to 654.3 billion yen from the same period a year earlier, getting right on track to meet a target of 1 trillion yen in 2019.

During the period, shipments to Hong Kong totaled 151.5 billion yen, accounting for more than 20 percent of the total Japanese agricultural exports. That was followed by China at 95.4 billion yen.

The top 10 export destination for Japanese agricultural products are all Asian countries except the United States (No. 3) and Australia (No. 10).

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