Japan farm exports in 2022 1st half hit record high as more dine out
TOKYO (Kyodo) — The value of Japan’s agricultural and seafood exports in the first six months of 2022 expanded 13.1 percent from a year earlier, marking a record high for the period, as waning coronavirus cases encouraged more people to eat out, government data showed Friday.
Exports in the January-June period totaled 652.5 billion yen ($4.9 billion), supported by robust shipments to the United States as well as a weaker yen, according to the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
A range of items also hit record highs, with exports of scallops climbing 67.8 percent to 38.7 billion yen and those of yellowtail rising 64.5 percent to 20.9 billion yen. Both marine products were supported by growing demand from Japanese restaurants in the United States.
Japanese sake exports increased 33.7 percent to 23.4 billion yen, lifted by online shopping.
Exports of strawberries, immensely popular in Asia, also increased by 29.7 percent.
Meanwhile, exports of beef fell 5.2 percent to 21.4 billion yen after the United States hiked tariffs sharply on Japanese beef shipments in late March.
By market, China was the biggest buyer of Japanese agricultural exports with a 18.0 percent increase to 120.1 billion yen, followed by the United States, up 34.5 percent to 104.6 billion yen.
However, shipments to Hong Kong sank 10.9 percent to 91.7 billion yen, dented by restrictions on dining out following a surge of COVID-19 cases.
The Japanese government has set a target of raising annual agricultural and seafood exports to 2 trillion yen by 2025 and to 5 trillion yen by 2030.
Of the total export amount, small cargoes — worth 200,000 yen or less per item and included in the shipment data since 2020 — accounted for 36.1 billion yen.
The value of exports in June, released the same day, rose 24.0 percent from a year earlier to 117.3 billion yen.