Japan to Halve Butter Import Quota amid Sluggish Consumption

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japan will slash the butter import quota in fiscal 2021 by some 54 pct from the previous year to 6,400 tons, as butter inventories have increased amid a consumption slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the agriculture ministry.

As of the end of 2020, butter inventories in Japan totaled 35,000 tons, up 49 pct from a year earlier, the ministry said Friday.

The sharp increase reflected producers’ efforts to process leftover raw milk into butter and other products that can be stored for a long time. An oversupply of raw milk was created as demand of milk for school lunch vanished during emergency school closures in the country in spring last year, which were aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Butter inventories grew also because the pandemic led to a fall in butter demand for use by confectionery makers and restaurants.

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