TOKYO: Japan's exports of agricultural and food products to China in April rose 14.1 percent from a year before to 16.7 billion yen, marking their first rise in four months, Jiji Press learned Friday.
The increase came as demand for rice and other high-quality food products rose in China as the coronavirus pandemic prompted many people there to eat at home.
In April, mainland China replaced Hong Kong as the largest export market for Japanese agricultural and food products.
Exports of Japanese whisky, soft drinks and ice creams were robust, while those of sea cucumber and other products mainly used at restaurants were sluggish.
There are some companies in China using Japanese rice as employee benefits, according to informed sources.
Japan's total exports of agricultural and food products fell 10.4 percent to 73.9 billion yen.
Exports to the United States, where coronavirus cases started surging in April, slumped 22.4 percent to 8.6 billion yen. Exports to Hong Kong fell 5.7 percent to 15.8 billion yen.
Beef exports plunged 42.9 percent to 1.4 billion yen, while sake exports plummeted 37.3 percent to 1.4 billion yen.