The U.S. Grains Council's Tokyo office reports that since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan on March 11, surrounding Japanese feed millers have stepped up to fulfill the demand in the affected area. Hiroko Sakashita, USGC associate director in Japan, says livestock farms in the Tohoku area could get roughly half of their normal demand feed during the month since the earthquake. As a result, producers are reducing feed rations.
Sakashita says they have not heard devastating reports in regards to animal losses at large cattle, swine and chicken farms. A livestock expert informed the Council that animals will survive but will experience some growth reductions. The livestock population in the whole country was not significantly impacted.
Japan's ports are recovering but it is not clear when a Panamax-size vessel will be accepted into the affected area.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Meat Export Federation is continuing with the vast majority of its scheduled programs in Japan, especially in the areas that either were not affected or have returned to normal after the March 11 earthquake and resultant Tsunami. Japan is the largest export value market for U.S. pork and the third largest beef market. At the same time, USMEF is actively involved in the relief effort.
Greg Hanes, USMEF assistant vice president of marketing, says most of the locations in the heavily populated areas where they have partnership programs scheduled have substantially recovered from the earthquake. A few events have been moved from the Tohoku region to areas less affected by the devastation, but USMEF's approach will remain unchanged.
Retail giant Aeon, which has 1,550 stores and annual retail sales of more than $58 billion, is partnering with USMEF on a new joint promotion for U.S. beef and pork products in the Yamanashi region. "From Iowa to Yamanashi" is the theme of the pork promotion, which recalls the 1960 shipment of hogs from Iowa to the Yamanashi prefecture to help that region's pork industry recover from two devastating typhoons.