Japan's corn consumption to grow 3.3% to 16.9 million tonnes by 2015, report says; beef consumption to increase 0.38% to 1.2 million tonnes; rice production to fall 14.9% to 7.2 million tonnes by 2014/2015

DUBLIN , November 11, 2011 (press release) – Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Japan Agribusiness Report Q4 2011" report to their offering.

BMI still believes that Japan is unlikely to join the US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multilateral free trade agreement that aims to integrate the economies of the Asia Pacific region. Given the robust political backing of the agricultural sector, BMI does not expect the country to upgrade its present 'observer' status in the near future.

The harvest season for Japanese rice farmers, which runs between August and October, is in full swing now, but the detection of radiation poses downside risks to the final crop outturn, which BMI forecasts to come in at 8.0mn tonnes in 2010/11. However, as radiation levels have been reported to be relatively low, BMI does not believe that this is a significant risk to overall output.

Japan's regulatory limit is 500 becquerels of caesium per kilogram, but so far, the highest level of caesium detected in rice stands at 52 becquerels, which is about a tenth of the regulated level. The rice was found in Ibaraki prefecture, 90 miles south of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Key Views:

Corn consumption growth to 2015: 3.13% to 16.9mn tonnes. The animal feed sector will be a large driver of growth in the coming years.
Beef consumption growth to 2015: 0.38% to 1.2mn tonnes. Growth in consumption is expected to be marginal as population expands equally slowly.
Rice production growth to 2014/15: -14.9% to 7.2mn tonnes. While the fall in rice production is expected to slow over the coming years, BMI does not believe the government will be able to reverse the long-term decline.
2011f Real GDP Growth: -0.7% (down from 2.9% in 2010, forecast to average 1.2% out to 2015).
2011f Consumer Price Inflation : 0.0% ave (up from -0.7% in 2010 average).

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