Japan to import butter to avoid meltdown

Published 28 May 15

The Japanese government has announced plans for emergency imports of butter following a warning from the Japan Dairy Association of a shortfall in supply of around 7,000 tonnes. Demand for butter is largely driven by the making of cakes and gave rise to another shortage prior to Christmas 2014, resulting in rationing of one pack per customer introduced in supermarkets. As a consequence consumers may have to pay higher prices as imported product will be subject to tariffs. A reduction in farmers and herd size due to a declining population are said to have contributed to this problem. The government’s focus is to have sufficient quantities to meet demand and there are reports suggesting the government will import 10,000 tonnes of butter and another 5,000 tonnes of SMP.