Danish product likely to become cheaper Pork buyers who were trading in the turbulent conditions of the mid 1990s will remember the Japanese gate price' as a powerful influence on the EU market, and can probably look forward to a favourable purchasing environment within the next couple of months as this phenomenon again puts pressure on continental suppliers. Danish product in particular seems likely to become cheaper following an announcement by the Japanese authorities of emergency action to restrict pork imports. Japan is usually the biggest non-EU buyer of frozen pork from Denmark, and often a major purchaser from the Netherlands, but access to its market is subject to a safeguard clause under World Trade Organisation rules allowing imports to be prohibited at below a stipulated minimum price to protect home producers. An increase in this gate price, which took effect on Wednesday for the first time since 1995, is seen as sure to reduce the tonnage of Danish pork reaching the Japanese market. No other third country market will be able to take up the slack, so the Danes are presumably to be left with surplus stock needing buyers within the EU. This probable disruption in the autumn pork trade is yet another consequence of the FMD crisis. Japan restricted meat imports from the European Union when the epidemic started, but quickly lifted its bans on product from several countries including Denmark. However, during the brief suspension Japanese traders imported abnormally large tonnages from North America, and as a consequence the resumed supply from Europe has flooded the market and triggered the gate price increase. {{M/E MEAT }}