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Japan Agribusiness Report Q3 2015

90 Pages BMI Research June 17, 2015 SKU: BMI5590698

BMI View: The government's plans to diminish the influence of the once-powerful Central UnionAgricultural Cooperative (JA-Zenchu) are a strong indication to us that much-needed structural reform ofthe agriculture industry is underway. Indeed, by 2019, the JA Zenchu is supposed to become a generalincorporated association with co-ops having the option of engaging independent auditors instead ofworking with those associated to the JA Zenchu. By reducing the power of the Union, the government issending out a clear sign that it is serious about the reforms, as further reflected in the increased opennesstowards a compromise for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Other structural issues that should be addressedare the ageing farmer population (the average age of a Japanese farmer is close to 70) coupled with highlyinefficient farming methods - usually constrained by the small plots of family-run farms. It is no wonder whyagricultural employment is shrinking so rapidly. According to official figures, people engaged in farming inJapan fell by 22.3% from 2005 to 2010 to reach 747,000. The Japanese agriculture industry faces a bleakfuture if it does not reinvent itself.

Key Forecasts

Rice production growth to 2018/2019: 5.5% to 8.9mn tonnes. With the latest policy to do away withthe four decade-long gentan policy, which restricts output of the grain to prevent overproduction, webelieve this will herald a new season for the backward and ageing industry, as consolidation will begin totake place.

Beef production growth to 2018/19: 3.0% to 517,000 tonnes. Livestock production is expected to bestable on the back of changes in the animal feed compensation program for farmers, as well as mutedconsumption growth.

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Japan Agribusiness Report Q3 2015

BMI Research
June 17, 2015

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