Scallop Prices Falling in Japan This Winter

Economy

Tokyo, Dec. 14 (Jiji Press)--Prices of scallops are falling in Japan this year, thanks to an increase in supplies reflecting a slump in exports amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a reversal after years of high prices, many stores are selling the seafood at a discount to lure shoppers. Scallop is popular in Japan, served raw as sashimi or in sushi, and used in a wide range of dishes including stew and gratin.

Between January and the end of October, about 3,700 tons of scallops, including live, peeled and frozen ones, were delivered to the Toyosu wholesale market in Tokyo's Koto Ward, representing an increase of roughly 30 pct from the average of the same period in the previous five years. The uptrend has been continuing since November.

"The coronavirus crisis pushed down exports of scallops, which had been strong, and they are now being supplied to the domestic market instead," an official at a wholesaler explained. Trade statistics show that scallop exports in the first 10 months of this year totaled 63,000 tons, down nearly 20 pct from the corresponding period of 2018 and 2019. In addition, prices of scallops for China and Western countries have fallen substantially year on year.

Against the backdrop, prices in Japan are declining. At the Toyosu and other markets, wholesale prices of raw and frozen scallops have been down 20 to 30 pct from a year before since August. Early this month, retail prices of defrosted scallops for sashimi at supermarkets in the greater Tokyo area stood at 250-350 yen per 100 grams, down more than 20 pct year on year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press