Arla Foods expects a 33% reduction in sales of cheese to Japan in the first half year of 2002.
The explanation is that Japanese buyers built up substantial stores of dairy products last year when the market for powder products, butter and cheese was booming. As Japanese import prices rose by up to 30% in 2001 - without a corresponding hike in consumer prices - many retailers have been forced to cut their storage costs.
“Since we work with half-yearly contracts, one result is that our contract for the first six months of 2002 is approximately one third less than last year, “ said Erik Johansen, Regional Director, Overseas Division.
“It’s somewhat surprising to see the market changing so radically in such a short time. However, we expect things to recover during the second half year.”
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