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On September 19, 2019, Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) announced genome edited foods that do not contain foreign DNA are not subject to the Food Labeling Standard. The CAA also released guidance for voluntary labeling. Other regulatory authorities in the Government of Japan continue to develop genome edited product handling guidelines.
Tunisia’s biosafety framework was drafted in 2014 and is being reviewed by its government with the expectation that it will be enacted by mid-2020. Tunisia currently places no restrictions on the importation of genetically engineered (GE) crops. However, Tunisian activities relating to agricultural biotechnology activities have been limited to building scientific capacity and developing a basic understanding of the technology. No GE products have been developed or commercialized for local production. Tunisia continues to import agricultural products derived from GE technologies, particularly feed grains used to support its development as a competitive livestock and poultry producer.
On September 20, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) announced its intention to permit vaccinations of healthy hogs in prefectures affected by Classical Swine Fever. MAFF’s Expert Committee supported the draft amendment to existing guidelines which is open for public comments until October 7. If formally approved, governors in each of the prefectures will have the flexibility to develop regional vaccination programs.
On October 1, 2019 Japan raised the consumption tax for most goods and services from 8 to 10 percent. The consumption tax for food and drink, except for liquor and meals eaten at the point of sale, remains unchanged at 8 percent. The expansion of home replacement meals, takeout menus, and food delivery options is not expected to be affected as the tax hike only covers consumption at the point of sale.
Turkey has removed most of the technical barriers on importation of genetic materials for animal breeding. However, U.S. semen exports have declined recently because of the strong dollar and strong competition from cheaper prices from EU suppliers. In 2019, a requirement regarding proof of the lack of a defect in the HH6 red gene has been added to a new regulation for Holstein genetics. Also, requirements for proof of the lack of a BH1 defect for Brown Swiss and JH2 defect for Jersey breeds has been removed. The mobile concentration rate has been reduced to 1 million for sorted semen and 5 million for conventional semen per straw. Turkish importers believe that beef semen demand within the domestic market will increase since the Turkish gov.
On October 4, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries announced that it would decrease planned imports of non-fat dry milk (NFDM) by 6,000 metric tons (MT) in Japanese fiscal year 2019. Planned imports are now set at 14,000 MT, compared to the 20,000 MT originally announced in May. Industry sources report that lower than expected consumption of yogurt and other dairy products in the summer months pushed NFDM stocks higher.
Turkey’s sugar beet production is forecast at 20.5 MMT in MY 2019/20 and is expected to result in 2.7 MMT sugar. For MY 2019/20, as announced by Presidential Decree on February 5, 2019, the quota for starch-based sugar decreased from 5 percent to 2.5 percent. Total sugar imports for the first ten months of MY 2018/2019 were about 144,500 MT, which is down about 30 percent compared to the same period last year.
Spain continues to host record-breaking numbers of visiting tourists. In 2018, 82.6 million tourists arrived in Spain and spent more than $99 billion. The improved economic situation is leading to a solid consumption recovery in a country with a strong culture of dining-out. Hence, the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional (HRI) sector in Spain continues to offer excellent opportunities for U.S. food ingredient and food-product exporters.
MY 2018/19 corn production is estimated at a record 101 MMT, 23 percent higher than the previous harvest, based on record area and yields. MY 2019/20 corn production is also forecast at 101 MMT on expectations of expanded area paired with a return to normal trend yields. MY 2018/19 corn exports are forecast at a record 37 MMT, almost 50 percent higher than the previous season as a result of the much larger harvest. MY 2018/19 milled rice production is estimated at 7.1 MMT, a decrease of 13 percent from the previous year due to decreased area and lower yields. MY 2019/20 milled rice production is forecast at 7 MMT, based on an expectation of further reduced area. MY 2019/20 wheat production is forecast at 5.4 MMT, down slightly from MY 2018/
South Korea’s Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional (HRI) food service sector continues to grow as consumers spend more on dining out and look for more convenience in their busy lives. In 2017, HRI sales totaled W128 trillion Korean Won ($113.5 billion), up 8 percent. This report provides an overview of this sector to assist U.S. exporters find opportunities in the dynamic Korean HRI market.
The Cayman Islands tourism industry has experienced tremendous growth during the past several years. Tourism arrivals reached a record-breaking 2.4 million in 2018, a 10 percent increase from 2017. Tourism is the key driver of trends and demands in the food service sector. With a new airport, hotels, and restaurants in the pipeline, U.S. exporters will find excellent opportunities for U.S. products in the Cayman Islands food service sector.
Winter grain crop prospects in much of Australia deteriorated in September as a result of inadequate rainfall. As a result, wheat and barley crop forecasts have fallen to only slightly above last year’s drought-impacted production levels, with the sorghum production forecast falling below last year. While bumper crops in Western Australia helped offset poor Eastern Australian harvests last year, this is not expected to be the case this year as crop conditions have worsened in Western Australia. Anticipated below-average crops will continue to limit export availability from Australia.
The milk supply from New Zealand’s dairy farms in 2020 is forecast to remain steady compared to 2019, at 21.86 million metric tons (MMT). This is 0.7 percent less than the record volume in 2018. It is forecast to be produced from 4.94 million (m) cows, also steady from 2019 and 58,000 head (about 1 percent) less than were milked in 2018. Exports are forecast to fall slightly in 2020, as 2019 exports were inflated as a result of strong inventory to begin the year. New Zealand dairy may be at a crossroads with negative influences seemingly outweighing the positive ones.
Following seven consecutive years of growth, Japan’s hotel, restaurant, and institutional (HRI) food service industry achieved record sales of ¥33.1 trillion ($299.8 billion) in 2018. The continuing surge in inbound tourism and recovery of sales in the quick-service segment have contributed to the industry’s success. Evolution and innovation in home-meal replacements (HMR) and food service for the aging population are also driving growth, while sales at drinking establishments and hotels are relatively lackluster. U.S. suppliers are well positioned to compete in many product categories, provided they are willing to adjust to market demands.
The report provides updates on statistics of South Africa foodservice market. South Africa has the largest foodservices market in Southern Africa, and a highly competitive hospitality sector. The growth of the industry offers export opportunities to U.S. food products that are quick and convenient, healthy, innovative, and have the value for money.

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