Growing demand for Argentine beef in Japan


By Kathryn Wortley, in Tokyo, GlobalMeatNews



Argentine beef exporters have been encouraged by feedback at Japan’s largest food fair that they will receive regular and large orders for their products following the re-opening of this potentially important market in July 2018.


Exhibitors from Argentina said they received a positive reception at the Foodex show in March, where importers, restaurateurs and consumers visited the country’s first beef showcase at Asia’s largest food and drink exhibition, held near Tokyo. Argentine pavilion exhibitors reported that many attendees tasted their meat for the first time.


Argentine beef was banned in Japan following outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease more than 15 years ago. Before the lifting of the ban, Argentine could export only heat-treated meat to Japan. Now, exports of boneless beef, bone-in beef and offal are possible, albeit only from the country’s southern Patagonia region, where there have been no cases of foot-and-mouth disease since 2001.


With chilled and frozen boneless beef imports from all sources totalling US$3.2 billion in 2017, Argentine exporters have decided to become more proactive in targeting this market. According to data from the United States’ Department of Agriculture, Argentina’s beef exports to all destinations for 2019 are set to rise by 15% year-on-year to 585,000 tonnes, a 10-year high.


A spokesperson for the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute (IPCVA), which supported the showcase at Foodex, welcomed this interest in Japan, describing the country as “a premium market, highly covered by all meat producers worldwide​”.


The IPCVA said it hoped the start of beef imports from Patagonia would be the first step to the rest of the country gaining access to Japan’s beef market...