Tapioca Imports Hit Record High in 1st Half: Osaka Customs

Economy

Osaka, Aug. 20 (Jiji Press)--Tapioca imports in January-June surged to a record high, led by the popularity of drinks containing tapioca balls, especially among women, according to data from Osaka Customs.

In the first half of 2019, tapioca imports jumped some 4.3-fold from a year before to a record 4,471 tons, with the value of imports also hitting an all-time high, at some 1.5 billion yen, up 5.7-fold. The six-month figures surpassed the full-year totals for 2018.

Tapioca balls once boomed in Japan in the 1990s and the 2000s. This time, it has become a fad triggered by the entry into the Japanese market of popular Taiwanese tapioca milk tea shops, industry sources said.

According to Osaka Customs, tapioca imports from Taiwan accounted for 85.8 pct of the total in January-June.

"There are many ways to enjoy tapioca balls, including beverages and sweets, and there are also many different variations in colors and textures," an Osaka Customs official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press