Strong demand for wagyu beef exports to US faces high tariffs

TOKYO, March. 22 ― Strong sales of Japanese wagyu beef to the U.S. have made exporters almost use up tariff rate quota (TRQ) in three months this year, triggering a 26.4 percent out-of-quota tariff rate on exports into the U.S.

According to data released by the United States Customs and Border Protection, Japan exported 197.6 metric tons of wagyu beef to the U.S. as of March 18, reaching 99 percent of its 200 metric tons of U.S. annual TRQ.

The pace of the Japanese beef exports to the U.S. has been accelerating over the years. In 2016, wagyu beef exports filled the quota in November. They filled it in the middle of June 2017, and in 2018 that was on April 10.

Once Japan hits the quota limit, the U.S. tariff on Japanese beef imports will rise to a 26.4 percent tariff of the export value, from the current rate of 4.4 cents per kilogram.

That means trading companies have to pay about 2,600 yen per Japanese wagyu beef worth of 10,000 yen till the end of this year.

Japan’s total wagyu beef exports to the U.S. rose 13% to 421 metric tons in 2018, valued at 3.3 billion yen, from a year earlier.

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