15 March 2021

Polish beef exports to Japan continue to grow!

Polish beef is a well-recognised product in Japan and it continues to gain popularity. Its exports in 2020, despite the difficult pandemic times, increased by as much as 28% compared to 2019 and amounted to 4, 276 thousand tons. The situation from the previous year repeated itself: in 2019 beef exports to Japan totalled 3,322,000 tons, recording the  increase of 126%. No particular seasonal fluctuations can be observed in the exports structure: the demand for beef is stable and any differences in individual months may have other causes, such as the use of multiple sources of meat imports or consumption of reserves.

The breakthrough year for dynamic export growth was 2018, when beef sales from Poland to Japan began to grow significantly. However, it should be remembered that the base point was quite low. The situation began to change with the signing of the European Union-Japan Trade Agreement (EPA), which liberalised the conditions for the exchange of goods and lowered most customs tariffs.

Due to the distance, beef from Poland usually reaches Japan in a frozen state. These are frozen half-carcases or meat cut into smaller pieces. However, a large part – between one fifth and one quarter of the export volume – is made up of beef offal, highly prized by the Japanese, including especially tongues, but also hearts, livers, cheeks and tails. Among large recipients of Polish meat are suppliers to the HoReCa sector – e.g. restaurants, establishments offering food delivery or collective catering services.

Polish beef finds buyers in Japan thanks to its qualities – it is produced in accordance with the high standards in force throughout the European Union, and production is based on animal welfare, excluding practices such as accelerating the growth of animals using synthetic hormones. The use of antibiotics is strictly controlled and only permitted when treating diseases under veterinary supervision. Thanks to the wide availability of pastures and meadows in Poland, cattle are often reared outside. On some farms, animals spend up to six months on pasture, and in the remaining period they are fed locally produced hay silage with the addition of concentrated feed. This contributes to the competitive price of meat – thanks to access to natural cheap feed, beef from Poland is on average a dozen or so percent cheaper than that from other EU countries. This is mainly due to the high volume of beef and dairy cattle farming compared to other European Union states.

Why not contact one of Polish exporters authorised to export beef to Japan today! You can find a list of Polish manufacturers here. If you would like more information – feel free to contact us by e-mail: