Market Profile - Japan

Supply/Demand Basics

  • Corn use: feed 75%; starch 24%; other food use 1%.
  • #2 import market for U.S. corn; #3 for U.S. barley and #6 for U.S. sorghum in MY 2016.
  • Feed grain imports gradually declining to 12-15 MMT/year from 16 MMT/year.
  • Japan imported 410,000 MT of U.S. DDGS in MY 2016.
  • Dry milling sector is #1 end-user of hard endosperm corn; U.S. market share 100%in 2016.

Country Overview

  • Population: 126.3 million
  • Population growth: -0.2%
  • Urban %: 93.5%
  • Urban growth: 0.5%
  • GDP: $4.4 trillion
  • GDP growth: 1.2%
  • GDP per capita: $34,620
  • Large government debt and stagnant economy; highly subsidized, small agricultural sector; dependent on imported raw materials and fuels.
  • Prime Minister Abe’s Abenomics stimulates economy, but not does not specifically benefit import-oriented industries including feed industry

Trade and Market Share Issues

  • Ageing population and changing consumer preferences mean little growth in total food demand.
  • High health consciousness with relatively high income has led to demand for health-oriented, value-added foods.
  • Still committed to buying from U.S. (volume, reliability, origination investments); however, Japanese industry beginning to diversify sources of feed ingredient imports.

Policy Issues

  • Revitalization of agricultural sector is required.
  • Biotech approval system, while functioning, may not have capacity to handle accelerating applications.
  • Japan had supported TPP. It was an opportunity to reform the agricultural sector.