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Japan’s Agricultural, Forestry, and Fishery Product Exports Hit a New High, Growing 2.3 Times From 10 Years Ago

By: MerxWire

In 2023, the export volume of Japan’s agricultural, forestry, fishery, and food products reached an unprecedented high of 1,454.1 billion yen, marking a 2.8% increase from the previous year and a staggering 2.3 times growth over the past decade. The export value of pearls, green tea, beer, and Wagyu beef has increased significantly among the exported products.

Japan’s agricultural, forestry, fishery, and food exports hit a record high, with beer and soft drinks becoming the bulk exports. (Photo/Merxwire)

TOKYO, JAPAN (Merxwire) – Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recently announced that the export volume of agricultural, forestry, fishery, and food products in 2023 hit a record high, reaching 1,454.1 billion yen, an increase of 2.8% over the same period last year, and an increase of 2.3 times compared with ten years ago. Due to the recovery of Japanese tourism in 2023 and the continued depreciation of the yen, export performance has increased significantly. Although some countries have implemented import restrictions due to ALPS-treated water discharge, resulting in a significant reduction in fishery product exports, from a full-year perspective, it is still slightly higher than that in the 2022 level. Products with a substantial increase in single-item exports include pearls, green tea, beer, and Wagyu beef. This was mainly affected by jewelry exhibitions, the depreciation of the yen, and the resumption of outing activities, which led to a significant increase in exports. On the contrary, the export value of aquatic products and Japanese sake exported to China dropped significantly.

Statistics reveal that in 2023, Japan’s agricultural, forestry, fishery, and food exports reached new highs in many export destinations. The top five destinations by export value are China, Hong Kong, the United States, Taiwan, and South Korea. However, it’s important to note that each country has unique cultures and preferences, which significantly influence their main import products. For instance, China primarily imports fresh scallops, logs, and soft drinks from Japan, while Hong Kong’s imports include natural or cultured pearls, cooked scallops, and beef. The United States’ main imports are amberjack, alcoholic beverages, and green tea, while Taiwan mainly imports alcoholic drinks, apples, and scallops. South Korea’s main imports are alcoholic beverages, scallops, and mixed sauces.

The top five destinations for Japan’s agricultural, forestry, fishery, and food exports are China, Hong Kong, the United States, Taiwan, and South Korea. (Chart via Merxwire)

Natural and cultured pearls grew the most in item export growth, followed by green tea, beer, sauce mixes, beef, amberjack, and soft drinks. Hong Kong held the Hong Kong International Jewelry Show last spring, which significantly increased the demand for Japanese pearls in the jewelry market, with an increase of 21.8 billion yen, making it the single-item export growth champion. Due to increased health awareness, sales of matcha and other powdered teas have increased significantly in Europe and the Americas, causing green tea exports to increase by 7.3 billion yen, ranking second. Due to the yen’s depreciation, beer exports increased by 7.2 billion yen and returned to third place, driving the purchasing desire of Korean consumers.

After the epidemic subsided, people worldwide gradually resumed their demand for dining out, immensely stimulating the Japanese food export market. For example, the number of Japanese restaurants in the United States increased the export of Japanese sauce and seasoning mixtures by 6 billion yen. Wagyu beef, which people in Taiwan and Hong Kong widely love, also increased by 5.8 billion yen. In addition, factors such as the increase in the number of people going out and gatherings and increased health awareness have driven an increase in soft drink exports of 5.5 billion yen.

In contrast, exports of scallops, mackerel, sake, whiskey, and timber have declined significantly due to reduced catches and restrictive policies. The decline was most evident in China (a decrease of 40.6 billion yen), with exports of scallops (fresh, etc.), whiskey, and Japanese sake decreasing the most, followed by Malaysia (a decrease of 4 billion yen), Vietnam (a reduction of 2.7 billion yen), and Egypt (a decrease of 1.5 billion yen).

Japan’s agricultural, forestry, fishery, and food exports are mainly processed foods, agricultural products, non-processed seafood, and livestock products. Each country or region is affected by consumption habits, culture, market prices, and policies, causing import quantities and quotas changes. By observing the food purchasing directions of various countries through this report, you will further understand the global food consumption market.

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