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Japan's sheep meat import prices remain high despite coronavirus

Chinese demand grows, while Australian supply drops amid droughts and fires

Most of the mutton consumes in Japan is imported meat.

TOKYO -- Japan's import prices for sheep meat remain stuck at high levels, even as prices for many other types of meat coming from abroad are falling due to a slump in the food-service industry's sales amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Sheep meat import prices between January and February this year were up nearly 10% from the same period last year and at the highest level on record amid a tight supply-demand balance, as Chinese demand is expanding while supply from Australia, a major producer, is shrinking.

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