Strengthened Partnerships: The High-Value Growth of the Japanese Pork Market

In a sign of strengthening partnerships and trust, NPB representatives met with two of Japan’s largest importers of U.S. pork and one of the country’s leading retailers recently. 

Growth is anticipated in this market due to the commitment by one of Japan’s largest retailers to increase their purchase of U.S. pork, replacing Canadian pork in the meat case. Additionally, Japanese authorities are lifting COVID-19 travel restrictions next month, which is expected to boost the country’s economy.

NPB allocates 35% of its $7.8 million USMEF investment in Japan, making it the largest export market for the pork industry.  Expanding global market demand is essential for pork industry growth. NPB partners with USMEF to optimize pork marketing efforts abroad, utilizing cross-industry cooperation to maximize results. 

Japan’s Strong Appetite for U.S. Pork

The Japanese market has consistently proven its value for U.S. pork exports. In 2022, Japan imported over 534,000 metric tons of U.S. pork, amounting to $1.5 billion or roughly 19% of the U.S. pork industry’s total export value. Japan ended last year as the second-largest value market and the third-largest volume market for U.S. pork exports.

The Driving Force: Chilled Pork and Loin Exports

The growth of the Japanese market can be attributed to its demand for chilled pork and loin products. Japan’s pork demand consists of 62% imported products, with the U.S. holding a 24% market share in chilled and frozen pork. The U.S. claims 48% of the market share for chilled pork alone.

High-Quality Pork: A Direct Result of Decades of Investment

The Japanese market regards U.S. Pork as a high-quality product. This perception can be directly linked to the decades of investment made by U.S. pork producers and the USMEF. The partnership has and will continue to allow U.S. producers to offer a consistent supply of premium pork products to Japanese consumers.

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