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Japan: frozen food consumption slips, as production and imports both dip: it's the worst it's ever been, with volume declining even though prices are down.

The long-running recession in Japan finally hit the frozen food industry hard last year. Consumption fell 3.6% to barely 2.2 million tons. Domestic production was off 1.5% falling below 1.5 million tons. Imported vegetables slumped even more, and prices were weak.

It wasn't the first time there had been a decrease--that was in 2001. But then the decline was only fractional. This time, it was substantial. Moreover, the value of domestic production sank 4.1% to 705 [yen] billion overall, and 4.2% to 469 [yen] billion on the institutional side. Imported vegetables were up a bit in price, but only a bit.

Recent news reports have it that better times are coming, and the industry may well be on the upswing by now. But there could be a fundamental change that isn't reflected in statistics of the Japan Frozen Food Association (JFFA): the increased outsourcing of prepared foods from plants in China, Thailand and other Asian countries.

Although JFFA reports routinely characterize the imports of frozen food other than vegetables as "small," a story last year in the Philippine Exporters Confederation's Export News cited the Japan Frozen Food Association as the source of information that its 28 member companies had imported some 128,000 tons of processed foods in 2000, up 28.5% from 1999, which was itself a record.

Domestic production declined slightly in 2000--the first time ever --in part because of those imports, but also because of reduced restaurant traffic: most Japanese frozen output targets the institutional market. Chances are that processed frozen imports have continued to increase since then, although they may have stalled last year if the restaurant market has further eroded and demand declined as a result.

Already in 2001, Export News reported, the Japanese industry was increasingly targeting the retail market, offering new products as well taking advantage of lower production costs at overseas plants. Based on domestic production, this strategy doesn't seem to be working--output of retail frozen foods declined more than that for institutional. But counting processed food imports, consumption on the retail side may actually be gaining.

Whatever the status of processed imports, imports of vegetables and potato products took a fall last year. Overall imports of 717,220 tons were down 7.7%, and imports from China fell 13.3% to 302,259 tons, even though a number of Japanese concerns have plants there. Perhaps some importers found cheaper sources: there were increases for Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia, although tonnage involved didn't match the losses for China and others.

Yet the biggest increase for a major supplier was Canada, up 16.4% to 44,239 tons, whereas shipments from the United States were off 6.5% to 272,134. The Canadian dollar hit a new low against the US dollar last year. That might explain things, but if it does the phenomenon won't likely last because the Canadian dollar has gained this year. As for categories, the only import, gainers in tonnage terms were the relatively small categories of broccoli and taro. Potato products, the largest single category, were off 2.6% to 266,984 tons.

Although JFFA reports that only 11.9% of domestically produced vegetables and potato products are for retail, the JETRO Marketing Guidebook for Major Imported Products cites estimates by "industry observers" that 40% of all frozen vegetables are consumed at home. Moreover, the JETRO report says, some imported vegetables go straight to processors for use in value-added products. Most of the rest, apparently, are repackaged by Japanese companies under Japanese brands.
JAPAN: Frozen Food Production and Consumption in 2001 and 2002

 Items Fishery Farm Livestock

 Year Products Products Products

 2001 101,961 85,243 18,814
 2002 102,666 92,090 14,902
Volume 2002/2001 100.7 108.0 79.2
(tons) Inst. 88,018 81,107 12,855
 Ret. 14,648 10,983 2,047
 2001 86,712 21,983 11,235
 2002 84,207 24,404 6,401
Value 2002/2001 97.1 111.0 57.0
([yen] M) Inst. 71,576 20,658 5,149
 Ret. 12,631 3,758 1,252

 Prepared Foods

 Fried Food Other Sub-Total

 370,361 882,403 1,252,767
 358,065 876,960 1,235,025
Volume 96.8 99.4 98.6
(tons) 275,478 535,525 811,003
 82,587 341,435 424,022
 189,948 397,592 587,540
 174,810 387,107 561,917
Value 92.0 97.4 95.6
([yen] M) 121,181 226,273 347,454
 53,629 160,834 214,463

 Confectionery Imported Consumption
 Frozen
 Vegetables

 49,320 776,708 2,284,810
 40,643 717,220 2,202,546
Volume 82.4 92.3 96.4
(tons) 33,374 N/A N/A
 7,269 N/A N/A
 27.704 110,816 845,990
 28,070 102,739 807,738
Value 101.3 92.1 95.5
([yen] M) 24,116 N/A N/A
 3,954 N/A N/A

Sources: Japan Frozen Food Association. Inst. = Institutional
Ret. = Retail

Japan: Volume & Value of Frozen Food in 2001 and 2002

 Volume
 Food Category 2001
Fishery Products Tons

 Fish 39,995
 Lobster/Shrimp 18,072
 Crabs 3,410
 Squid & Octopus 18,577
 Shellfish 14,157
 Other Fishery Products 7,750

 Sub Total 101,196

Farm Products Taro (Satoimo) 1,881
 Carrots 5,511
 Cob Corn 3,909
 Kernel Corn 6,528
 Pumpkin 10,669
 French Fried Potatoes 7,888
 Other Potato Products 21,952
 Spinach 3,536
 Other Vegetables 21,137
 Fruits 2,232

 Sub Total 85,243

Livestock Poultry 7,113
Products Meats 11,701

 Sub Total 18,814

Fried Foods Fried Shrimp/Lobster 8,877
 Fried Squid 7,067
 Fried Oyster 11,978
 Fried Fish 18,196
 Other Fried Fishery Items 36,951
 Croquettes 145,191
 Cutlets 65,202
 Other Fried Food, Tempura 76,899

 Sub Total 370,361

Prepared Foods Hamburger 51,660
other than Fried Meatball 35,596
Foods Shao-mai 33,966
 Fried Dumpling stuffed
 with minced pork (Gyoza) 24,651
 Harumaki (Spring Roll) 20,979
 Pizza 16,524
 Chinese Buns 12,572
 Rice Products 161,309
 Noodles 209,873
 Bread & Dough 34,151
 Kneaded Fish Products 8,236
 Egg Products 38,736
 Gratin 28,002
 Stew, Soup, Sauce, etc. 19,353
 Other Prepared Foods 186,795

 Sub Total 882,403

 Prepared Foods Total 1,252,764
 Confectionery 49,320

 Grand Total 1,508,102

 Volume
 Food Category 2002
Fishery Products Tons

 Fish 45,149
 Lobster/Shrimp 17,735
 Crabs 3,879
 Squid & Octopus 16,064
 Shellfish 13,198
 Other Fishery Products 6,641

 Sub Total 102,666

Farm Products Taro (Satoimo) 1,197
 Carrots 5,819
 Cob Corn 3,181
 Kernel Corn 8,054
 Pumpkin 12,033
 French Fried Potatoes 6,527
 Other Potato Products 21,648
 Spinach 4,376
 Other Vegetables 26,704
 Fruits 2,551

 Sub Total 92,090

Livestock Poultry 7,754
Products Meats 7,157

 Sub Total 14,902

Fried Foods Fried Shrimp/Lobster 8,101
 Fried Squid 7,239
 Fried Oyster 13,642
 Fried Fish 19,725
 Other Fried Fishery Items 28,010
 Croquettes 145,519
 Cutlets 67,205
 Other Fried Food, Tempura 68.624

 Sub Total 358,065

Prepared Foods Hamburger 51,916
other than Fried Meatball 33,324
Foods Shao-mai 35,269
 Fried Dumpling stuffed
 with minced pork (Gyoza) 27,237
 Harumaki (Spring Roll) 22,919
 Pizza 17,628
 Chinese Buns 12,206
 Rice Products 154,392
 Noodles 216,072
 Bread & Dough 30,963
 Kneaded Fish Products 9,052
 Egg Products 38,443
 Gratin 27,849
 Stew, Soup, Sauce, etc. 17,534
 Other Prepared Foods 182,156

 Sub Total 876,960

 Prepared Foods Total 1,235,025
 Confectionery 40,643

 Grand Total 1,485,326

 Volume
 Food Category 2002/2001
Fishery Products %

 Fish 112.9
 Lobster/Shrimp 98.1
 Crabs 113.8
 Squid & Octopus 86.5
 Shellfish 93.2
 Other Fishery Products 85.7

 Sub Total 100.7

Farm Products Taro (Satoimo) 63.6
 Carrots 105.6
 Cob Corn 81.4
 Kernel Corn 123.4
 Pumpkin 112.8
 French Fried Potatoes 82.7
 Other Potato Products 98.6
 Spinach 123.8
 Other Vegetables 126.3
 Fruits 114.3

 Sub Total 108.0

Livestock Poultry 108.9
Products Meats 61.2

 Sub Total 79.2

Fried Foods Fried Shrimp/Lobster 91.3
 Fried Squid 102.4
 Fried Oyster 113.9
 Fried Fish 108.4
 Other Fried Fishery Items 75.8
 Croquettes 100.2
 Cutlets 103.1
 Other Fried Food, Tempura 89.2

 Sub Total 96.7

Prepared Foods Hamburger 100.5
other than Fried Meatball 93.6
Foods Shao-mai 103.8
 Fried Dumpling stuffed
 with minced pork (Gyoza) 110.5
 Harumaki (Spring Roll) 109.2
 Pizza 106.7
 Chinese Buns 97.1
 Rice Products 95.7
 Noodles 103.0
 Bread & Dough 90.7
 Kneaded Fish Products 109.9
 Egg Products 99.2
 Gratin 99.5
 Stew, Soup, Sauce, etc. 90.6
 Other Prepared Foods 97.5

 Sub Total 99.4

 Prepared Foods Total 98.6
 Confectionery 82.4

 Grand Total 98.5

 Value
 Food Category 2001
Fishery Products [yen] M

 Fish 32,619
 Lobster/Shrimp 16,379
 Crabs 4,568
 Squid & Octopus 12,887
 Shellfish 13,029
 Other Fishery Products 7,230

 Sub Total 86,712

Farm Products Taro (Satoimo) 681
 Carrots 815
 Cob Corn 824
 Kernel Corn 1,554
 Pumpkin 2,572
 French Fried Potatoes 1,464
 Other Potato Products 3,391
 Spinach 1,101
 Other Vegetables 8,337
 Fruits 1,244

 Sub Total 21,983

Livestock Poultry 4,057
Products Meats 7,178

 Sub Total 11,235

Fried Foods Fried Shrimp/Lobster 12,956
 Fried Squid 4,776
 Fried Oyster 9,469
 Fried Fish 10,137
 Other Fried Fishery Items 26,855
 Croquettes 45,029
 Cutlets 36,245
 Other Fried Food, Tempura 44,481

 Sub Total 189,948

Prepared Foods Hamburger 25,042
other than Fried Meatball 17,724
Foods Shao-mai 15,997
 Fried Dumpling stuffed
 with minced pork (Gyoza) 12,186
 Harumaki (Spring Roll) 11,569
 Pizza 13,414
 Chinese Buns 4,791
 Rice Products 61,937
 Noodles 50,765
 Bread & Dough 16,820
 Kneaded Fish Products 4,213
 Egg Products 17,087
 Gratin 15,471
 Stew, Soup, Sauce, etc. 9,615
 Other Prepared Foods 120,961

 Sub Total 397,592

 Prepared Foods Total 587,540
 Confectionery 27,704

 Grand Total 735,174

 Value
 Food Category 2002
Fishery Products [yen] M

 Fish 37,084
 Lobster/Shrimp 15,892
 Crabs 4,431
 Squid & Octopus 10,004
 Shellfish 11,177
 Other Fishery Products 5,619

 Sub Total 84,207

Farm Products Taro (Satoimo) 445
 Carrots 814
 Cob Corn 758
 Kernel Corn 1,926
 Pumpkin 3,013
 French Fried Potatoes 1,203
 Other Potato Products 3,225
 Spinach 1,501
 Other Vegetables 10,032
 Fruits 1,487

 Sub Total 24,404

Livestock Poultry 2,312
Products Meats 4,089

 Sub Total 6,401

Fried Foods Fried Shrimp/Lobster 12,216
 Fried Squid 4,369
 Fried Oyster 11,186
 Fried Fish 10,797
 Other Fried Fishery Items 20,110
 Croquettes 43,256
 Cutlets 36,813
 Other Fried Food, Tempura 36,063

 Sub Total 174,810

Prepared Foods Hamburger 25,578
other than Fried Meatball 15,762
Foods Shao-mai 15,930
 Fried Dumpling stuffed
 with minced pork (Gyoza) 13,325
 Harumaki (Spring Roll) 12,514
 Pizza 14,449
 Chinese Buns 4,543
 Rice Products 57,927
 Noodles 51,920
 Bread & Dough 13,726
 Kneaded Fish Products 4,549
 Egg Products 16,682
 Gratin 15,855
 Stew, Soup, Sauce, etc. 9,103
 Other Prepared Foods 115,244

 Sub Total 387,107

 Prepared Foods Total 561,917
 Confectionery 28,070

 Grand Total 704,999

 Value
 Food Category 2002/2001
Fishery Products %

 Fish 113.7
 Lobster/Shrimp 97.0
 Crabs 97.0
 Squid & Octopus 77.6
 Shellfish 85.8
 Other Fishery Products 77.7

 Sub Total 97.1

Farm Products Taro (Satoimo) 65.3
 Carrots 99.9
 Cob Corn 92.0
 Kernel Corn 123.9
 Pumpkin 117.1
 French Fried Potatoes 82.2
 Other Potato Products 95.1
 Spinach 136.3
 Other Vegetables 120.3
 Fruits 119.5

 Sub Total 111.0

Livestock Poultry 57.0
Products Meats 57.0

 Sub Total 57.0

Fried Foods Fried Shrimp/Lobster 94.3
 Fried Squid 91.5
 Fried Oyster 118.1
 Fried Fish 106.5
 Other Fried Fishery Items 74.9
 Croquettes 96.1
 Cutlets 101.6
 Other Fried Food, Tempura 81.1

 Sub Total 92.0

Prepared Foods Hamburger 102.1
other than Fried Meatball 88.9
Foods Shao-mai 99.6
 Fried Dumpling stuffed
 with minced pork (Gyoza) 109.3
 Harumaki (Spring Roll) 108.2
 Pizza 107.7
 Chinese Buns 94.8
 Rice Products 93.5
 Noodles 102.3
 Bread & Dough 81.6
 Kneaded Fish Products 108.0
 Egg Products 97.6
 Gratin 102.5
 Stew, Soup, Sauce, etc. 94.7
 Other Prepared Foods 95.3

 Sub Total 97.4

 Prepared Foods Total 95.6
 Confectionery 101.3

 Grand Total 95.9
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Title Annotation:2003 Global Frozen Foods Almanac
Comment:Japan: frozen food consumption slips, as production and imports both dip: it's the worst it's ever been, with volume declining even though prices are down.(2003 Global Frozen Foods Almanac)
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Words:2146
Previous Article:South of US border, down Mexico way, frozen food market having great day: evolving from an exporter of raw fruits and vegetables, to an importer of...
Next Article:Elsewhere along the Pacific Rim frozen foods also flourishing: Australian market is booming, while China is experiencing ongoing development.
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