Tag Archives: Japan

After a nearly 15-year absence, U.S. lamb has officially regained access to Japan, USDA officials announced Thursday. Japan closed to U.S. lamb in December 2003 as a result of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) detected in the U.S. cattle herd.

“Japan was a primary market for U.S. lamb before losing access, so obviously our lamb producers and the lamb industry are very excited about this opportunity to again export our quality products to an upscale market,” said U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Chair Dennis Stiffler, president of the Texas division of Halperns’ Purveyors of Steak and Seafood and former chief executive officer of Mountain States Rosen, a livestock producer-owned processor and distributor of lamb and veal products. “The Japanese have proven in the past that they are very receptive to the unique flavor of U.S. lamb, and 95 percent of all lamb raised in the U.S. is grain-fed. It’s a very succulent protein that will stand up well to competitors’ products in the Japanese market. U.S. lamb has been well-received in other upscale markets, including Taiwan which reopened to U.S. lamb in 2016. But Japan presents an exceptional opportunity for significant export growth.”

Already the leading value market for U.S. beef and pork, Japanese consumers are expected to embrace U.S. lamb’s flavor and consistency, along with the essential nutrients that make it part of a healthy diet.

Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO, thanked U.S. agricultural and trade officials for their efforts to restore market access for U.S. lamb and said the announcement lays the groundwork for a much-needed boost for lamb exports.

“As is the case in other markets where U.S. red meat has been successful in regaining access, this is the result of tremendous work by U.S. government officials and the U.S. meat industry,” said Halstrom. “There is great demand for high-quality, grain-fed red meat in Japan, as demonstrated by the success of U.S. beef and pork. The U.S. lamb industry is anxious to capitalize on opportunities in Japan’s restaurant and retail sectors, and USMEF is eager to begin promoting U.S. lamb in Japan.”

Japan’s lamb imports reached a record value of $168 million last year, up 26 percent year-over-year. Through May 2018, imports were 43 percent ahead of last year’s pace in value at $95 million, while volume was up 28 percent to 12,265 metric tons. Australia is the top supplier of lamb entering Japan with 60 percent market share so far this year, while New Zealand supplied 38 percent.

ARLINGTON, Virginia — Implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) without the United States is a time bomb set to demolish more than 60 years of hard work by multiple generations of U.S. farm families to develop a large and loyal market for U.S. wheat in Japan. The U.S. government has the power, however, to defuse this device and avoid an unnecessary and costly disaster.

Japan became the second country to ratify the CPTPP, which could be implemented in early 2019 after six of the 11 countries that signed the agreement have ratified it. This development comes on the same day the United States and China escalated a trade war that has already imposed harm on U.S. wheat growers, potentially compounding the difficult economic conditions further. Canada and Australia, which are major competitors to the United States in the Japanese wheat market, are also parties to the agreement, meaning implementation would put U.S. wheat farmers at a severe disadvantage in our second biggest wheat market. 

Once implemented, the agreement calls for incrementally discounting the effective import tariffs that Japanese flour millers pay for imported Australian and Canadian milling wheat from about $150 to about $85 per metric ton (MT). Imported U.S. wheat effective tariffs would remain at about $150 per MT.

Sources within the Japanese milling industry estimate this disadvantage would force them to start looking at alternatives to U.S. wheat and cut average total imports of western white, dark northern spring (DNS) and hard red winter (HRW) wheat by more than half — from about 3.1 million metric tons (MMT) per year to 1.35 MMT per year or less. If nothing changes before the effective tariff schedule is fully implemented, U.S. wheat farmers and the U.S. grain trade will essentially be writing a $500 million check every year to Australian and Canadian farmers.

U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers call on the Trump Administration to end this threat by taking the bold but necessary steps toward joining the CPTPP or engaging in bilateral negotiations. We see no other way to stop a situation that we believe will cut already unprofitable cash wheat prices even further. 

DAVID CITY – Governor Pete Ricketts and the visiting Consul General of Japan in Chicago, Naoki Ito, toured the Henningsen Foods plant in David City, Nebraska.  The visit occurred on the heels of a newly-announced strategic partnership agreement between Henningsen’s Tokyo-based parent Kewpie Corporation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).

“Henningsen Foods and Kewpie have shared a tremendous relationship with Nebraska for over 50 years,” said Governor Ricketts.  “During my recent trade mission to Japan, I met with the company’s leadership to thank them for their investments in our state and to discuss new opportunities for collaboration.  Those discussions led to today’s announcement.  This new partnership between Kewpie and the University of Nebraska leverages our world-class resources at Nebraska Innovation Campus and strengthens the special relationship between Nebraska and Japan, which support thousands of jobs in our communities.”

“It has been a privilege to tour Henningsen’s facilities in David City, and yet another opportunity to acknowledge the deep friendship and economic ties shared between Nebraska and Japan,” Consul General Ito said.  “Nebraska and Japanese trade and business partnerships continue to grow stronger every year, and they are a source of economic strength for all parties involved.”

A global producer of egg, meat, and poultry products, Henningsen Foods operates three locations across Nebraska.  Governor Ricketts and a delegation of State and university officials met with senior leaders from parent company Kewpie last year, during the Governor’s second trade mission to Japan.  Following that meeting, the Governor’s Office helped connect Kewpie with UNL.  Shortly thereafter, representatives from UNL and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) returned to Tokyo, at which time UNL and Kewpie formalized a recently-announced strategic partnership agreement.  The agreement will see Kewpie conduct North American market research and development efforts out of UNL’s Nebraska Innovation Campus, in Lincoln.

“This is a perfect example of the economic development opportunities created in Nebraska that result from collaboration and partnership between the university, state government and the private sector through global engagement,” said Mike Boehm, UNL Vice Chancellor Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Nebraska and Japan continue to grow important trade and investment relationships.  Today, Japan is the fourth-largest global importer of Nebraska products, and the state’s largest source of foreign direct investment, having invested more than $4.4 billion since 2010.  Today, approximately 35 Japanese-owned companies employ around 9,400 Nebraskans.

Aside from strengthening Nebraska-Japan ties, the UNL-Kewpie agreement will also help to foster enhanced research and academic collaboration between the University of Nebraska and Japan.

This July, Governor Ricketts is slated to host an official delegation from Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, including Prefecture Governor Toshizo Ido, to discuss additional opportunities for growing Nebraska-Japanese trade and investment relationships.

In September, Nebraska will host the 50th annual conference of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association.  More information can be found at http://www.midwest-japan.org/schedule/.