Thus, Japanese traders anticipate good sales of ?Rio Star grapefruit. Israel supplies a green-colored grapefruit variety called ?Sweetie to the Japanese market. ?Sweetie is sold in December and January. The import volume of ?sweetie grapefruit was expected to return to normal levels to about 5,000 metric tons a year. Yet, in MY2009/10, ?sweetie imports increased marginally but remained below average and continued on a declining trend. Traders report that until recently multiple Japanese importers were handling ?sweetie shipments. However, it appears that the novelty that the ?sweetie grapefruit once enjoyed among Japanese consumers is fading. Correspondingly, only one company is now importing ?sweetie by a chartered vessel and the import volume is not expected to change. Hence, for MY2010/11 post estimates, Japanese imports of Israel ?Sweetie to hold steady at the MY2009/10 level.
Japanese MRL Issues: In Japan, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) quarantine officials check for chemical residues on imported products by conducting regular monitoring tests at the port of entry. In addition, imported crops, along with domestically produced crops, are also monitored at the retail level by local government laboratories. Currently, no chemical maximum residue limits (MRL) violations have been found in imports of fresh U.S. grapefruit. MRL violations can be found in the following MHLW website: http://www.mhlw.go.jp/topics/yunyu/ihan/index.html To find MRLs for certain agricultural chemicals in Japan, please refer to the following website: The Japan Food Chemical Research Foundation http://www.m5.ws001.squarestart.ne.jp/foundation/search.html