Japan Agribusiness Report

Providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the agribusiness industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, Industry Forecasts, Supply & Demand Forecasts, Commodity Price Analysis and Company Profiles.

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Japan Agribusiness Report
Product Price

BMI View: We have not made significant changes to the Japanese agricultural sector forecast in our Q4 2016 report update. We envisage minor gains in the livestock sector. The grains sector will remain exposed to production volatility and heavily reliant upon imports. Pork is expected to post strong growth this year , as it remains the outperforming livestock segment.

The ageing Japanese agriculture sector is seeing some green shoots in the form of technological innovations. The use of robots in primary industries of agriculture and fisheries, and utilisation of data in dairy farming is proof that the agriculture industry is making changes to the way it operates - a long-awaited development for the traditionally old-fashioned and less-progressive industry.

The Japanese government has launched a series of initiatives to support technological advancements in the agriculture industry, including an investment of USD10mn in robots aimed at reducing farming workloads and investments into cloud-based agriculture technologies, such as wearable devices and peripherals for monitoring livestock.

On the political front, the government's plan to diminish the influence of the once-powerful Central Union Agricultural Cooperative (JA-Zenchu) is a strong indication that much-needed structural reform of the agriculture industry is under way. By 2019, the JA-Zenchu is expected to become a general incorporated association with co-ops having the option of engaging independent auditors, instead of working with those associated with JA-Zenchu. By reducing the power of the union, the government is sending out a clear sign it is serious about the reforms, as further reflected in the increased openness towards a compromise for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Key Forecasts:

  • Rice production will grow by a modest 0.35% this year to reach 7.68mn tonnes; consumption will jump by 1.16% to reach 8.7mn tonnes.

  • Pork production will grow by 2.07% to reach 1.28mn tonnes; demand will remain around 2.59mn tonnes.

  • Sugar consumption will decline by more than 3.5% in 2016 to reach 2.05mn tonnes; and we estimate a consistent decline in demand over the course of our forecast period.

  • Japan is expected to import over 15.0mn tonnes of corn in 2015/16 and 2016/17 annually to provide for the growing demand.

Industry Outlook

Non-tariff rice quotas from the US and Australia have been proposed at 70,000 tonnes and 80,000 tonnes respectively in return for maintaining a high tariff on the country's staple. For rice from the US, a 50,000-tonne quota has been suggested; however, this could be increased progressively up to 70,000 tonnes over a period of 10 years or more. Given that the 70,000 tonnes is significantly lower than the 175,000 tonnes originally necessitated by the US, this will continue to be a sensitive area of negotiation between the countries. At present, Japan is required to import 770,000 tonnes of rice, just 7% of total Japanese rice consumption.

Japan's Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Yoshimasa Hayashi in a recent interview stated that discussions on the signing and implementation of the TPP are drawing to a close. The TPP has been cited as one the largest trade deals in history, encompassing 12 countries that, when combined, add up to 40% of the world's GDP. Passing the bill has proven even more crucial over time, and five additional countries have expressed further interest in the partnership agreement. New Zealand is poised to benefit considering it allocates USD94mn per year for red meat export tariffs alone to the negotiating countries, with most of this (USD77mn) paid to Japan. Japanese tariffs on beef imports start at 38.5% and can, under certain conditions, rise up to 50%.

Japan has recently begun a strong campaign directed at intensifying relations with Vietnam. Japanese investment in Vietnam has totalled USD2.1bn, covering 298 projects in 2014/15 alone. This has included mostly agriculture as the main point of interest, but other sectors have also been discussed at the recent meetings of Vietnam's President Truong Tang Sen and Japan's Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Should it prove successful, the current partnership agreements will be used as a model for further regional cooperation with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Talks are also leading to requests for further liberalisation of trade; specifically, Japan has been calling for further relaxation of tariffs on apple exports while offering to import mangoes from Vietnam. Japanese businesses have additionally expressed interest in recently adopted Vietnamese regulations on livestock farming, fishing and, of course, agriculture.

Agribusiness Market Value
BMI Calculation/FAO
BMI Industry View
Industry Forecast
Rice Outlook
Table: Rice Production & Consumption Outlook
Table: Risks To Outlook
Table: Rice Production & Consumption (Japan 2015-2020)
Soybean Outlook
Table: Soybean Production & Consumption Outlook
Table: Risks To Outlook
Table: Soybean Meal Production & Consumption (Historical Data & Forecasts)
Livestock Outlook
Table: Japan - Livestock Production & Consumption Outlook
Table: Risks To Outlook
Table: Livestock Production & Consumption
Grains Outlook
Table: Japan - Grain Production & Consumption Outlook
Table: Risks To Outlook
Table: Japan - Select Grains Production & Consumption, 2011-2020
Commodities Price Analysis
Global - Global Commodities Strategy
Upstream Analysis
Asia Machinery Outlook
Table: Select Countries - Average Size Of Farms, Hectares
Asia GM Outlook
Table: Selected Countries - GM Crops Use (mn hectares)
Asia Fertiliser Outlook
Downstream Analysis
Latest Updates
Structural Trends
Table: Food Sales (Japan 2013-2020)
Regional Overview
Competitive Landscape
Table: Main Agribusiness Players
Demographic Forecast
Demographic Outlook
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Japan 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Japan 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Japan 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Japan 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Japan 1990-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

The Japan Agribusiness Report features BMI Research's market assessment and independent forecasts for production, consumption and trade across core agricultural commodities.

BMI's Japan Agribusiness Report includes independent commodity price forecasting and analysis for key agricultural outputs, an overview of the agribusiness competitive landscape and a discussion of the downstream context of agricultural production in relation to country food consumption forecasts and composite food and beverage trade forecasts.

Key Benefits

  • Use BMI's independent industry forecasts to test other views - a key input for successful planning in dynamic agribusiness markets.
  • Apply BMI's medium-term commodity price analysis to assist with budgetary planning and the identification of investment opportunities and potential risks.
  • Assess the activities and market position of your competitors, partners and clients.


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts and views, highlighting recent changes and key risks to the industry outlook.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the wider agricultural industry.

BMI Supply & Demand Forecasts

Divided into sections based on various diverse sectors in the agriculture market, the chapter provides insight into each market’s agricultural industry, centred on sector forecasts to end-2019 for the consumption, production and trade of key commodities.

  • Consumption Forecasts: Accompanied by a discussion of the main drivers of consumption growth: macroeconomic factors, food processing trends, price movements and increasingly, demand from the non-food sector.
  • Production Forecasts: Examine the trends influencing BMI’s production outlook: global demand, price increases, public and private sector investment and agricultural efficiency improvements.
  • Trade Forecasts: Accompanied by a discussion of the factors influencing a country’s trade in agricultural goods, including domestic demand, global prices and government trade policies.
  • BMI’s Forecasts: Accompanied by a risks-to-outlook assessment, which examines potential factors that could affect our existing forecast picture and the likelihood of their occurrence.

BMI’s Commodity Price Analysis

Fundamental and technical analysis of the short- and medium-term price outlook for eight agricultural commodities based on globally recognised benchmarks.

Downstream Analysis

Analysis of headline food and drink forecasts, including total food consumption, per capita food consumption and total sector trade, which provide important downstream intelligence for primary agricultural producers.

Featured Analysis

Includes relevant articles from BMI’s daily analysis service. These can include: long-term projections on agricultural imports and exports; our perceptions of the impacts of economic slowdown on key companies and subsectors within the Agribusiness industry in a given country; our analysis of fertilizer production; as well as other relevant analysis of recent news and events.

Competitive Landscape

The reports contain information on prominent companies operating in each market.

Key Commodities Covered By The Agribusiness Market

Reports Include: Grains, Dairy, Livestock, Rice, Sugar, Palm Oil, Edible Oils, Coffee, Cocoa, Cotton, Soybean

Please note – not all reports cover all commodities.


The Agribusiness reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports.