[17 October/ New Zealand Herald]

AgriHQ have said New Zealand frozen beef exports to Japan have dropped since the Japan lifted tariff rates. From August 1, Japan increased its frozen beef tariff to 50 percent from 38.5 percent under a World Trade Organisation safeguard after high sales of imported beef. AgriHQ said only 729 tonnes of frozen beef was exported from New Zealand to Japan in August and September, down from 1,709 tonnes in 2016 and the five-year average of 1,840 tonnes. Japan is New Zealand’s fifth largest red meat and co-products market, with exports over $302 million in 2016. New Zealand’s sheep and beef sector face its single highest tariff burden in Japan, with $73 million in tariff payments last year. AgriHQ Analyst Reece Brick said small amounts of frozen products would be traded into Japan from NZ until the temporary tariff is lifted in April next year.