Japan increases US meat imports

Japan is reported to have increased its imports of pork and beef from the USA by 20% during April, largely as a result of the rising cost of importing corn following the nuclear crisis.

Fear of radiation leaking from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant has resulted in a 5% rise in shipping costs for corn, as freight operators prove reluctant to import ports in eastern Japan. This has particularly affected the largest port for unloading corn, Kashima, which lies just south of the stricken nuclear plant.

According to Japanese government data, feed production in Kashima accounted for 16% of feed produced in Japan last year. A senior director at the US Meat Export Federation in Tokyo said that US meat might be a cheaper option.