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Japan Grain, Feed Markets Thrive Despite Earthquake Damage

29 March 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

JAPAN - The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 devastated, both physically and emotionally, a country that had already been suffering from a stagnant economy. The so-called “triple disaster” also challenged Japan’s food security regime.

During this unprecedented crisis, Japan’s food supply system demonstrated remarkable resilience and strength in its ability to secure ample, undisrupted supplies of food for people in the affected regions and feed for livestock animals.

Despite economic setbacks and infrastructural damage, which have not been overcome, the fundamentals of Japan’s food and feed industry remain sound, attesting to the robustness of Japan’s food security system which relies on both domestic production and the availability of reliable imports.

The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami destroyed five major ports and adjacent feed mills on the North-Eastern Pacific coast, the combined production capacity of which amounted to 30 percent of Japan’s total feed production.

Japan’s feed industry gathered its strength and overcame this unprecedented crisis by increasing the production in Western Japan and Hokkaido, and transporting feed to unaffected North Western ports by vessel as well as by ground transportation.

The affected ports are now open and feed mills are back in operation, although not to the pre-disaster level.

On a side note, the post-disaster experience and response to expand capacities in the unaffected regions may accelerate rationalization/consolidation of the feed manufacturing industry in Japan.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

March 2012

TheCropSite News Desk

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