Trans-Pacific trade pact sees beef imports boosted in Japan

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

The beef industry appears to be benefiting from the effect of the CPTPP on Japan.

The trans-Pacific free trade agreement that came into effect last year has resulted in increased beef imports for Japan, according to new data.

Finance Ministry figures show that beef imports from Australia, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand - all of which ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership - totalled 33,000 tons in January 2019.

This was up an incredible 57 per cent on the same numbers recorded a year earlier, suggesting the deal has already been having a major impact on the food products industry.

The CPTPP covers 13 per cent of the global economy and 500 million people. Initially, the US was in negotiations to join the treaty, but it withdrew in January 2017.

Under the terms of the agreement, Japan's tariffs on imported beef were lowered from 38.5 per cent to 27.5 per cent. By 2033, they will be further reduced to just nine per cent.

The Finance Ministry figures also revealed that the value of total imports to Japan from Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam - all in the CPTPP - had increased 7.6 per cent year-on-year in January, while exports from Japan to those countries fell 14.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, statistics from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have shown that food exports from Japan have also been on the rise.

Sharp increases were noted in beef (29.1 per cent) and sake, resulting in a record-breaking year during 2018 and growth in agriculture, forestry and fisheries as a whole.