Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics
The monthly marine product stockpile figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan out today (Japanese PDF format
, Excel format
). No big surprises here, but the whale meat figures for May 2007 contained were as follows.May 2007 outgoing stock: 469 tonnes
This figure is in line with the expectations I wrote of in last month's update
based on lower outgoing stock volume in the first 6 months of the year, and the current situation of limited stocks of ready-for-sale meat.
This May 2007 figure of 469 tonnes is actually a 32% increase on the same month last year.May 2007 incoming stock: 240 tonnes
Slightly less incoming stock in May than for April, but this figure is a 90% increase on the same month last year.May 2007 overall stockpile movement: Down 229 to 4,175 tonnes
Last month's end-of-month total stockpile figure was 74% of that of the same month in 2006. This month for May again, the figure of 4,175 tonnes is slightly less - 73% of that size of the stockpile at the same time last year.Graph: Annual volumes
As expected, the gap between incoming and outgoing whale meat stock volume for 2007 narrowed further in May. The gap was 500 tonnes at the end of April, and by the end of May outgoing stock volume (3,265 YTD) was only 271 tonnes behind incoming stock volume.
With the June figures probably going to reflect the first week of JARPA by-product sales, we will likely observe that the YTD outgoing whale meat stock volume has overtaken incoming stock volume when the June figures are released.
YTD outgoing stock volume is also remains significantly higher (19.5%) than at the same time last year (it was 2,732 tonnes as of May 2006).
Also, YTD incoming stock volume is still approximately 30% lower than at the same time in 2006.Graph: Monthly stockpile movements
Just another regulation month here, but with the first week of JARPA by-product sales to possibly be reflected in next months figures, the pink stockpile line will probably slant a few degrees further downwards when I next update this picture.Graph: 12-month moving averages
Both incoming and outgoing stock volume figures in May were larger than the same month in 2006, so these 12-month moving averages both head up a touch.
The outgoing 12-month moving average is 757.6 tonnes, and the incoming average is 627.1 tonnes.
I'm predicting that next month will see the outgoing figure maintained at the same level (if not a little higher), but with less JARPA by-product available to leave stockpiles this year, by the end of July we should probably see the outgoing stock average drop down quite sharply. The 2006 July outgoing stock figure alone was a monster 1,723 tonnes, which is only a few hundred tonnes short of the total amount of JARPA by-product available in 2007.
I'm not sure of the exact dynamics of the JARPA by-product auction though, and with whale meat getting positive media coverage recently, you never know.Graph: Regional whale meat stockpiles
A summary of the top 7 stockpile location movements in May 2007 is below (previous month's level in parenthesis):
1. Tokyo wards: Down 99 (4.4%) to 2,171 tonnes (2,270)
2. Ishinomaki: Up 30 (6.1%) to 518 tonnes (488)
3. Hakodate: Down 76 (16.7%) to 378 tonnes (454)
4. Osaka: Down 14 (5.9%) to 225 tonnes (239)
5. Kushiro: Down 45 (16.7%) to 224 tonnes (269)
6. Kanazawa: Down 5 to 223 tonnes (228)
7. Shimonoseki: Down 1 to 123 tonnes (124)
I believe that almost all of the stock in Tokyo is the JARPA by-product, so the Tokyo figure will probably drop away over the next couple of months.
The rise in stock in Ishinomaki is probably attributable to the first coastal component of the JARPN II research programme taking place in that area.
The top 7 locations again contain 92.5% of the overall whale meat stock as of the end of May. I am guessing the JARPA by-product sale will see a lot of this stock dispersed to storage facilities in other parts of the country.
* * *
June figures will be released by the ministry on August the 13th.
Labels: stockpile figures