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Japanese Restaurants In Australia Are Suffering From A Devastating Sushi Shortage

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Japanese Restaurants In Australia Are Suffering From A Devastating Sushi Shortage

Sushi lovers, brace yourselves, a shortage of the delicious Japanese food is set to make prices soar through the roof in Australia.

Good Food reported that some sushi staples such as sashimi are now costing twice as much as it did last year.

The average price of sushi has also increased by 27 per cent in the past year, from AU $11.40 to $14.55, according to a report by technology business Square.

Due to the shortage, many Japanese restaurants have received less than half of the produce they initially ordered, which has led prices jumping drastically. 

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The international demand for salmon has skyrocketed since the start of this year due to higher transportation costs and Covid-19-related shortages, increasing export prices by 46 per cent, according to Good Food.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Matsumoto owner Alice Chan told the news outlet that she spent an additional $10 per kilogram while buying salmon for her renowned sashimi restaurant.

She said: “Salmon is normally really easy to get. We never really thought about it before… but now, sometimes we don’t even get the stock. It’s really hard when we order four salmon and only get half of the order. 

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"The prices rose all of a sudden. It was very quick, I'd never seen anything like it before. I thought I could absorb the price, but I just can't do it."

Rice prices have also surged, which some believe is due to the Ukraine war. Demand for the grain has increased since Russia's invasion into its western neighbour as wheat becomes harder for exporters to get their hands on.

Chan added: "The prices rose all of a sudden. It was very quick, I'd never seen anything like it before.

"I thought I could absorb the price, but I just can't do it."

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Toko owner Matt Yazbek made a similar claim, disclosing he received only one fish from a recent 30-kilogram salmon order and said the current prices are ‘nerve-racking’ for businesses. 

He told Boss Hunting: “We’ve been around for 21 years and this has been the biggest spike in prices we’ve ever seen, over such a short period.

“It’s not pretty to see inside of a restaurant right now. It was already difficult for us to make money but this is a whole new challenge. It’s nerve-racking.”

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There was a minor shortage of some sushi ingredients like tuna, according to The Australian, earlier this year.

While that was due to Covid-19 isolation rules, it was feared back in January that the industry would be plagued with issues for a while.

David Williams, who runs boutique corporate advisory Kidder Williams, told News Corp that 2022 could be a rocky year for sushi lover.

“The problem with tuna is the same throughout food and agriculture," he said.

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"The full supply chain is stuffed and partial solutions don’t fix it. A fix can only be from a reassessment of the rules of isolation.

“Until we have a workforce harvesting, processing, warehousing and delivering, 2022 will be characterised by food shortages and rationing.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia

Charisa Bossinakis
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