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Monday, 7th April 2008
In General Japan News,

Japan's butter supplies 'running low'

In the face of rising butter prices, supplies in supermarkets across Japan are running low, it has emerged.

The butter shortage is, in part, a side effect of a reduction in the demand for milk, which has resulted in a fall in the production levels of the product, reports the Japan Times.

"It would be difficult to raise supplies of butter sharply any time soon," said a representative from the agriculture, forestry and fisheries ministry.

A representative from Yotsuba added: "Even if producers increase the number of milk cows, it will take two years for cows to mature to the point they can provide milk."

Yotsuba manufactures a number of dairy products in addition to butter, including cheese and yoghurt.

According to data released by the agriculture, forestry and fisheries ministry, between April 2007 and January 2008, domestic butter production declined by a total of 4.5 per cent, compared with the previous year.

The country's other butter producers include Snow Brand Milk Products and Morinaga Milk Industry.