Exports of beef from the UK to Japan were worth a staggering £1.78 million in January – almost a fifth of the total value last year, in just one month.
The latest figures from HMRC show that 334 tonnes of beef were exported to Japan in the first month of the year, up from 24 tonnes in the same period last year.
It comes after an incredibly strong year for beef exports to Japan, with volumes up 48 per cent in 2021 compared to the previous year – adding over £9.7 million to the sector.
AHDB has identified Japan as a key target market for the UK’s red meat sector, with the country being one of the world’s largest beef importers – importing 585,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen beef last year, worth £2.7 billion.
Japan opened its doors to imports of UK beef in January 2019, following a series of visits and negotiations between UK and Japanese officials, which culminated in an inspection of beef production systems in 2018 – hosted by AHDB, Defra and wider industry.
AHDB Head of Asia Pacific Jonathan Eckley said: “Japan is proving to be an incredibly important market for our beef exports, with January alone bringing a strong financial boost to the UK beef sector.
“AHDB has made Japan one of the key target markets for exports, showcasing the UK’s beef, pork and lamb products to businesses across the country by having a presence at trade shows, such as Foodex earlier this month, and securing agents on the ground to work directly with importers.
“Japan is a complex and competitive market to establish new business and restrictions on international travel as a result of Covid created further challenges for our exporters.
“However, we are confident that AHDB will continue our work in flying the flag in support of the UK’s red meat sectors and building on these already impressive export figures in the year ahead.”
In spring 2022, we will be asking all eligible levy payers to shape our work and priorities. Your views will help guide what we deliver over the next five years. Have your say on the vital support we offer your business and the industry. Registration is open until 31 March 2022.