JAPANESE soy sauce makers plan to double their sales by the end of the decade to offset a global glut of demand, and a Fukushima nuclear power plant accident has sparked concerns about how long the industry can withstand a global shortage.
The world’s largest soybean producer, Sumitomo Sankyo Corp., will also increase the price of its soy sauce in the United States by 10% to boost domestic consumption and exports, according to the company’s latest financial filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The move will help bolster Sumitomos sales by at least 2.2% to 4.4 million tons this year, the company said in the filing.
Sumitom is the world’s second-largest soybean processor after Dow Chemical Co., which also sells soy sauce.
It is the largest exporter of soybeans and is the biggest soybean exporter in the world.
In Japan, soy sauce is widely used in soups, dips, stews and even desserts.
But the market is booming as consumers demand more protein-packed products and prices have jumped.
The price of soy sauce has risen by 10.7% in the last five years, according a survey by Nikkei Research last month.
The rising price of the soy sauce will boost exports and help Sumitoms market share.
But analysts said the company could face a tougher time in the years ahead as consumers turn to cheaper substitutes such as chicken, beef and eggs.
Sumitomeco, which reported a net loss of 623 billion yen ($7 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, has been seeking to boost sales by a whopping 4.7%.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station is seen in this March 31 photo.