Japan's 2022 farm exports rise to a record for 10th-straight year

FILE PHOTO: Workers make tortillas at Delicious Cook & Co's food factory in Narashino, Japan, April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - The value of Japan’s agricultural and seafood exports rose 14.3% in 2022 from a year earlier to 1.41 trillion yen ($11 billion), setting a record for the 10th consecutive year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said on Friday.

Exports grew as demand for dining out, which had fallen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has recovered in many countries. Demand from local retail shops and e-commerce has also remained strong, the ministry said, adding the weaker yen against the U.S. dollar also lent support.

Exports of agricultural products increased by 10.3% year-on-year to 887 billion yen, while marine products rose by 28.5% to 387.3 billion yen. Forest products climbed by 11.9% to 63.8 billion yen.

Big gainers were marine products such as scallops to China and the United States, alcoholic beverages, including whiskey and Japanese sake to China, fruits and vegetables to Hong Kong and Taiwan, and milk and dairy products to Vietnam.

But exports to Europe and the United States were affected by a slowdown in consumption due to rising inflation in the second half of the year, the ministry said.

Leveraging the global boom in Japanese food, Japan is seeking to achieve its goal of boosting exports to 2 trillion yen ahead of its 2025 schedule, according to an official at the ministry.

($1 = 128.6200 yen)

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Sharon Singleton