While Japan’s banana imports from major markets have decreased in volume, imports from Vietnam, Peru, Indonesia, Thailand, and Laos increased again in the first 8 months of 2022.
The Export-Import Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) has just reported that Japan’s import value of banana (HS 0803) in the first 8 months of 2022 reached 728.7 thousand tonnes, worth 80.2 billion yen (equivalent to 539.3 million USD), down 3.3% in volume but up 4.9% in value compared to the same period in 2021. The average price of imported bananas reached 110 thousand yen/tonne, up 8.5% compared to the same period in 2021.
Vietnamese bananas accelerate into Japan. (Photo: Internet)
Japan imported the most bananas from the Philippine market in the first 8 months of 2022, reaching 557 thousand tonnes, worth 80.2 billion yen (equivalent to 418.1 million USD), down 0.6% in volume but up 5.2% in value compared to the same period in 2021.
The proportion of bananas imported from the Philippine market accounts for 77.8% of total Japan’s imports; followed by markets such as Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, and Vietnam.
“Remarkably, while banana imports from major markets have decreased in volume, imports from Vietnam, Peru, Indonesia, Thailand, and Laos have increased in the first 8 months of 2022,” emphasized the representative of the Export-Import Department.
Specifically, imports of Vietnamese bananas reached 5.7 thousand tonnes, worth 687.9 million yen (equivalent to 4.6 million USD), up 20.1% in volume and 37.7% in value compared to the same period in 2021.
The share of imports from Vietnam only accounts for 0.8% of the total amount of Japan’s bananas imports, up 0.2 percentage points compared to the same period in 2021.
Although Vietnam’s market share of bananas (HS 0803) in total Japanese imports increased, banana imports from Vietnam remain low level while this is the most consumed fruit compared to other fruits in Japan.
According to Reuters, Japanese households spend an average of 4,387 yen (equivalent to 29.9 USD) on bananas per year. Therefore, there are still many opportunities to expand Vietnam’s market share of bananas in the Japanese market.
The Export-Import Department provided further information: one of the important factors for the Japanese market to import Vietnamese fruits is that the process of production and plant protection must achieve international safety certification. Along with that, the raw material area must be granted the growing area code and packing facility code. Consumers in Japan don’t care too much about prices. They choose because of the product quality and whether it tastes good or not.
According to experts, Japan is a “tough market” but when we can conquer this market, Vietnamese fruits including bananas are qualified enough to enter other markets.
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan, not only bananas but also many other agricultural products of Vietnam have created trust in the Japanese market. In particular, quality assurance is an important factor for Vietnamese goods to create their brand and compete with other countries.