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As Japanese consumers buy more fruit at a higher price Japan’s fresh fruit imports for March 2020 have also seen a year-on-year increase.

According to data released from Japan's Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan imported 134,695 tonnes of fresh fruit in March 2020 a 1.3 per cent increase from March 2019.

Most major categories saw year-on-year increases with bananas increasing 6 per cent to 81,618 tonnes, pineapple increasing 6 per cent to 12,208 tonnes and table grapes increasing 6 per cent to 8,148 tonnes.

Kiwifruit also saw a significant year-on-year increase with a total of 3,258 tonnes in March 2020. This was a 230 per cent increase form March 2019 due to the early arrival of New Zealand kiwifruit.

The data also showed that Japan’s fresh fruit imports, for the most part, had been stable during the first quarter of 2020 (1Q2020) despite the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In 1Q2020 Japan imported 370,898 tonnes of fresh fruit compared to 361,884 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019, a 2 per cent increase.

These increases have also been reflected in household consumption of fruits, not only did Japanese consumers purchase an increased amount of fruit in March 2020, they purchased it at a high price, leading to increased expenditure.

Japanese households purchased 5.61kg of fruit for March 2020, a 2.5 per cent increase from March 2019. Meanwhile, expenditure increased 5.3 per cent year-on-year to ¥2,895 (US$27) in March 2020.