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Author Topic: Japan a giant importer for citrus  (Read 960 times)


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Japan a giant importer for citrus
« on: June 24, 2014, 10:02:26 AM »
Japan is an interesting market for any provider given its large size (127 million people), its higher purchasing power (90% of its population are in the middle class) and the attractive prices they pay. Moreover, the country is dependent in food imports as the local production can only cover 40% of their needs.

However, Japan isn't so dependent on citrus imports because it has a great local production of tangerines. Annually, the country harvests 900,000 tons of Mikan tangerines and similar varieties. This industry, however, is suffering serious setbacks because of the abandonment of crops, as they are being replaced for more profitable ones, and the ageing of farmers. 60% of the farmers are over 65 years old and it's difficult for them to harvest the tangerine growing on the slopes. 15 years ago the production exceeded 1.5 million tons per year, and it is currently less than one million. The production of other citrus is very small: 15,000 tons of lime and 5,000 tons of oranges.

To complete local production, Japan imports 350,000 tons annually. Almost half of the imports correspond to grapefruit. The Japanese are big consumers of this fruit, even though it is not grown locally. Japan's major suppliers of grapefruit are the U.S. (110,000 tonnes) and South Africa (40,000 tons). The second most important citrus imports are for oranges. Given its limited local production, Japan has to import almost everything it consumes. Here again, the main supplier is the U.S. (100,000 tons) and Australia (30,000 tons). Japan imports 35,000 tons of limes from the U.S. and 12,000 tons from Chile


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