Philippine Department of Agriculture – Tokyo
Kobe beef to be exported to Saudi Arabia for the first time

Kobe beef to be exported to Saudi Arabia for the first time

HYOGO, Feb. 25 – Kobe beef, a widely-known top-quality wagyu brand from Hyogo Prefecture, will be shipped to Saudi Arabia for the first time.

It will also be the first export of Japanese beef to the country.

Hyogo plans to ship Kobe beef equivalent to 150 cows in a year.

The move is an attempt to make inroads into one of the leading economic giants in the Middle East as part of efforts to increase beef producers’ revenues and expand production of Kobe beef.

A ban on exports of Japanese beef to Saudi Arabia was lifted in 2020.

In October last year, Sanda Meat Center in the city of Kobe was approved by the Saudi Arabian government as Japan’s first facility that can provide halal meat for export to the country.

Saudi Arabia will be the 39th among countries and regions to which Kobe beef is exported.

The first shipment — two cows’ worth of Kobe beef totaling some 600 kilograms — will leave Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture on Feb. 28 and is expected to arrive in the country on March 1 to be offered at restaurants and events there.

The meat of an entire wagyu cow will be exported, instead of limiting shipments to certain types of cuts such as loin or fillet.

A departure ceremony was held in Kobe on Feb. 24.

Tomoshige Kanzawa, chairman of the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association and head of JA Zen-noh Hyogo, a Hyogo prefectural headquarters of the marketing arm of agricultural cooperatives, said: “We have high hopes for the country with a high-income economy as an export destination. We will strive to further strengthen the brand position of the world-renowned Kobe beef.”