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Abstract

Japan is a major importer of cheese—second only to the United States in both volume and value. In 2015, the US accounted for 15% of Japan’s total volume of imported cheese. If the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is ratified by Congress, US and other major cheese exporters stand to benefit from duty free or reduced tariff rates. An import demand model is used in estimating Japan’s demand for imported cheese. Estimates from this analysis are then used to project Japanese cheese imports in volume and value as a result of TPP. Findings suggest that the own-price elasticities for cheese from the EU–28, US, and the ROW are more sensitive to changes in prices than cheese from Australia. Given a 29.8% reduction in the tariff rate on Japan’s fresh cheese imports, Japan is projected to import from the US, New Zealand, and Australia a total of 29.2 million kilograms more cheese. Cheese exporting companies can benefit from the research results that indicate potential export market share changes for competing countries, increases in overall Japanese cheese imports, and price sensitivity of individual country exports of cheese.

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