Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics
Here's your update on whale meat inventories with the latest figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for January 2009.
Just the basics for starters, and I'll try to catch up with graphs later when time presents itself, but there isn't much to illustrate with only figures for the first month of the year anyway.January 2009 outgoing stock: 391 tons
Another slow month in the shipments figure, 391 tons recorded as leaving storage. 391 tons is 73% of the volume recorded for the same month in 2008.
A couple of possible factors influencing the low shipment volume spring to mind:
1) The effect of the economic slump that's going on, of course globally but particularly Japan being an export-dependent nation has been hit hard, as it's Yen currency has appreciated substantially over the past several months and demand from abroad has dropped due to problems overseas. With whale being a rare and rather expensive option for consumers, the tough economic times may be seeing whale consumers opt for cheaper options.
2) Overall inventory for whale is (as of January) at relatively low levels compared with recent years, and substantial additional product is not likely to be available until the JARPA II by-product goes on sale in summer. Dealers may be pacing their sales so as to ensure supply is available until that time. Additionally in January, uncertainty remains about the level of additional product to become available as a result of the JARPA II programme, due to further (not to mention exceedingly dangerous) harassment from the sheep of Paul Watson's anti-whaling personality cult group, "Sea Shepherd".January 2009 incoming stock: 262 tons
A relatively large month for incoming stock however, 262 tons being 218% of the corresponding January 2008 figure.January 2009 end-of-month inventories: 2,967 tons
Overall, inventories fell below 3,000 tons as of the end of January, a 4% decrease on the end of the previous month, and 5% lower than at the same time a year earlier.
Whale is in relatively short supply.January 2009 top inventory regions
The table below shows the movements in whale inventory in the leading inventory regions.
Stockpile size at month end
|Stockpile size at|
previous month end
|Tokyo city wards||1,323||1,451||-128|
Tokyo remains firmly in the number 1 spot, showing the largest decrease, whereas 2nd place Ishinomaki
recorded an increase, as well as the top consumption region of Nagasaki. Funabashi inventories again mysteriously remain largely static. At the bottom end of the table, Kawasaki drops out of the top 7 (decreasing at least 11 tons to come in below new 7th place Hakodate).
That's your update for January 2009 figures
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The February 2009 figures are due for release on the 10th of April at 11:00AM
Labels: stockpile figures, whale meat inventory statistics