U.S Pork back ribs are making their way to Japan. Before the spring of 2009, the pork back rib did not exist in Japan outside of a select few restaurants because the domestic pork industry produces single-ribbed loins, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reported. Even the Japanese pork industry did not know about the back rib.
USMEF introduced pork back ribs in Japan at the March 2009 FoodEx trade show, where the high-value cut drew immediate interest from a number of buyers, including national retailers Ito Yokado and Aeon.
While the introduction of pork back ribs in Japan has been an unqualified success — more than 1,500 retail outlets started selling back ribs in 2009 — USMEF foresees potential for expanded sales in the coming year. For the year, USMEF estimates that the United States will have exported 660,000 pounds of pork back ribs by the time the holiday season is completed.
In addition, the new demand for relatively expensive back ribs could help U.S. exporters comply with Japan’s complex gate price system. The gate price system requires importers to pay a duty for products priced under a specific per-pound price.
Through the first 10 months of 2009, the United States has exported 783.4 million pounds of pork products to Japan valued at nearly $1.3 billion.
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)