Japan imported a record volume of frozen vegetables in 2018, for the second year in a row. Frozen vegetables are popular in the Japanese restaurant business because they do not expire easily and they require little preparation in the kitchen. The demand for frozen vegetables is therefore growing.
At the same time, the domestic supply of vegetables is unstable as hot weather and cold currents alternate, which disrupts vegetable production. Data from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shows that the import volume in 2018 increased by 4% in comparison with 2017. The import volume reached 1.05 million tons, which broke the 2017 record of 1.01 million tons. This is an increase of 36% in comparison with 10 years ago.
China is responsible for about 50% of the frozen vegetable supply to Japan. The USA comes second. The Chinese export of frozen vegetables to Japan in 2018 increased by 7% in comparison with 2017, and doubled in comparison with 2013. The Chinese export of frozen spinach and broccoli increased by 14% and 18% respectively.