The average value of beef purchased by Japanese households during July 2012 declined by 1.1% year-on-year, to 262.5 yen/100grams, while purchase volumes increased 2.6% to 522 grams, according to data released by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
The office also announced that the monthly consumer price index (CPI) for fresh food declined 3.5% from July 2011.
It should however be noted that July 2011 was an extraordinary month for food suppliers in Japan, with the discovery of radioactive contamination in beef and other local produce significantly disrupting the market.
Subsequently, CPI in July 2011 for fresh food surged 2.9% year-on-year, while overall CPI recorded only a 0.2% increase.
While the decline in the average value for July 2012 was largely due to Japanese beef, the deflationary trend in the market made it very difficult for retailers to lift imported beef prices, despite increasing import costs.
The Bank of Japan announced a 1% inflation target earlier this year; however a fall in the country’s industrial production in July has increased the downside risks on the economy, according to recent market reports.
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