Japan bananas

Increasing banana and kiwifruit imports were factors in Japan’s fresh fruit imports growing 5 per cent year-on-year (yoy) in May 2020 with citrus imports experiencing mixed results.

According to data released by Japan's Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in May fresh fruit imports increased by 8,897 tonnes yoy to 182,070 tonnes.

Despite the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, Japan’s fresh fruit imports have been on the rise in recent months, in March total imports for the year were up 1.3 per cent.

Now in May, a total of 721,832 tonnes has been imported since the begning of the year, an increase of 1.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

Banana imports represented the largest yoy growth, increasing by 6,406 tonnes (up 6 per cent). Imports from Japan’s largest source of bananas, the Philippines, were down 2 per cent but this was picked up by other countries such as Ecuador and Mexico.

Kiwifruit imports continued a strong year reaching 31,090 tonnes in May, this represented a yoy increase of 6,170 tonnes or 25 per cent.

The other notable increase was grapefruit, imports rose by 2,438 metric tonnes from May 2019, a 126 per cent increase.

On the other side of the equation, Japan’s lemon imports for May 2020 saw the largest yoy decline with only 1,033 tonnes of lemon entering the country.

This total was 3,727 tonnes down from May 2019, a decline of 78 per cent, a result of a sharp decline in Californian lemon imports.