Australian beef cheaper on Japanese shelves than our own, farmer finds

Australian beef is cheaper on Japanese shelves than in our own major supermarkets, a farmer has found.

Andrew Dunlop took time off from working at his farm in New South Wales to visit Japan, where he made the discovery at a discount retailer.

Australian beef cubes retail for $18.35 per kilogram in Tokyo, according to the Australian Beef Association, while a similar product sells for about $20 per kilogram at home.

australian beef cheaper on japanese shelves than our own, farmer finds

Australian beef is cheaper on Japanese shelves than on our own major supermarkets, a farmer has found.

Thinly sliced beef stir fry is $19.80 in Japan and between $20 to $25 in Australia. A rump steak is about $28 in Japan and $29.80 in Australia.

Dunlop questioned how the meat was cheaper overseas despite the costs of international shipping and tariffs.

"These prices ask more questions of me than they answer," he said.

Coles said the prices were not a fair comparison.

"Think of it like buying a car if you pay for a high-end, premium brand versus an entry -level brand. Yes, it's a car but the costs and the retails are completely different," Coles chief operating officer Matt Swindells said.

australian beef cheaper on japanese shelves than our own, farmer finds

Discount retails and greater export competition may play a part in the cheaper prices overseas.

"We understand the importance of value more than ever and with that comes a responsibility to provide trusted prices."

Discount retails and greater export competition may play a part in the cheaper prices overseas but the beef industry said the domestic supermarket prices aren't clear.

"As a consequence of that neither the producer or the consumer is getting a good deal," Dunlop added.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is looking into claims of price gouging by the major supermarkets and will report later in the year on price-setting practices.

The supermarkets have rejected those claims and blamed food inflation instead.

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