Home | About Us | Contact Us


Koi Forum - Koi-Bito Magazine straight from Japan
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29

Thread: the world's economy and koi

  1. #1
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    6,340

    the world's economy and koi

    It has been interesting to me to watch how consumers from the world are influencing purchases in Japan from breeders. At one stage America was holding it's own but then the dominance of the Euro took over. Today some of the strongest sales are now going to China.


    Over the years, I have watched sons of famous breeders come to america to learn english as an important part of communication and marketing.

    Wondering what this new turn of events will have on the hobby of Koi, thoughts?

  2. #2
    Nisai cricket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    82
    fewer high end japanese koi being purchased from japan

    if the quality of domestic breds gets high enough they may dominate usa shows in 3 to 6 years

    not necessarily win gc but definitely more in numbers and more winners than there is now

    hopefully we still get to see some of the beauties from japan will be interesting to see how it unfolds for the future

    of course i haven't given up on this country to rebound and become a financial force in the future and at that point we are back to normal and maybe even better

  3. #3
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Near Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    1,878
    Quote Originally Posted by dick benbow View Post
    It has been interesting to me to watch how consumers from the world are influencing purchases in Japan from breeders. At one stage America was holding it's own but then the dominance of the Euro took over. Today some of the strongest sales are now going to China.


    Over the years, I have watched sons of famous breeders come to america to learn english as an important part of communication and marketing.

    Wondering what this new turn of events will have on the hobby of Koi, thoughts?
    Some 25 years ago I was on a flight from Edmonton Alberta. The plane was full of Japanese tourists. Next to me sat the tour guide, I was delighted and asked if there were any koi keepers on the flight? she replied that koi keeping was for the very wich yet I learned that the tour of Canada for 10 days cost $7000.
    It costs money to build and maintain a koi pond and unfortunatelly most people in Europe and America have been living beyond their means for
    all their lives.
    In Canada the serious koi keepers are mostly Asian it appears that they were born with the love of fish so it is no wonder that the best koi are going to China. There are a lot of US billionares but their intrests are not in koi fish unfortunatelly. The hobby is going to shrink in the US just as it did in Britain resulting in some going bankrupt that are trying to scrape a living.
    Japan , the dedicated people are the koi breeders. It is their hobby and their standards which are impossible to compete against as they are willing to work 16hr a day to constatly improve their fish. I thought of breeding fish untill I visited the Momotaro koi farm and looked at what they were producing. Mr Maedo has done it all by himself because he loved fish and he even had to wait for years before he got his first pond. He left home at the age of 15 with no money to become an auto mechanic and ended up with Old boy restorations and the Momotaro farm. Every year newer better young males are used to improve the fish to stay ahead with proven results nearly impossible to compete against both in fish and the demand for his fish. He has to be congratulated.
    Regards
    Eugene

  4. #4
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Deluz, CA
    Posts
    298
    When I was living in China some 35 years ago, owning a fish that wasn't destined for your dinner plate would have been a crazy idea. But with their newfound capitalism and wealth there is a strong desire to acquire things they have only dreamed about. Carp have a cultural significance to the middle and older generations, so it is natural for them to want to purchase a high quality example for themselves. The percentage of wealthy people wanting koi in lieu of a Rolex watch would be much higher than the percentage of wealthy Americans preferring a koi. From what I understand this is happening at the breeders this year as the auctions have been dominated by new Asian buyers. This is good for the Japanese breeders because not only does it provide the sales they need to survive while the rest of the world is in an economic downturn, but it also allows them to produce the highest quality koi possible with a good chance of selling them for what they are worth. Isn't it true that the US markets were mostly 2nd tier koi anyway? if so, then this 2nd tier might include higher quality koi than in the past which will benefit the US market.

    Of course the downside would be the Chinese breeders being able to duplicate the quality in mass, with a much larger market and less inexpensive land and labor. For me, quality koi becoming a commodity would ruin the hobby. Let's hope that the Chinese breeders have as difficult time matching the quality as the American breeders have had. No doubt they will get there... just how long will it take?

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    Dick, I think it is instructive to look at what has occurred in the tropical fish industry. Years ago the koi business and the tropical fish business were totally different because a key part of the tropical fish market was composed of fish collected in the wild. With the growth of chain outlets supplanting mom & pop petshops, the emphasis is on the best selling varieties of tropical fish and having supply meet demand in a predictable fashion... fish as pure inventory. As a result, captive-bred fish dominate, making the tropical fish industry more like the koi industry. In the U.S., captive-bred fish came from Florida farms. Now, an increasing percentage come from Asian farms. Air transport is so reliable and inexpensive that lower labor costs allow imported captive-bred fish to out-compete domestic producers. Asian tropical fish farms supply the world and continue to grow market share. But, if a person is looking for a fish that is not captive-bred, or one that has refined breeding (high-end Discus, guppies), it is necessary to go to a specialist and pay what it costs to acquire something that cannot be mass-produced.

    I see something similar occurring with koi. Competition in the junk and lower-end koi market already favors the low-cost Asian koi farms. Chinese entry into the market will only hasten the process of eliminating domestic farms in the U.S. and elsewhere that emphasize quantity over quality. In the next 10 years the competition in the mid-range will become intense. Unless the number of consumers increases dramatically, the bulk of Japanese breeders will suffer simply because their market share will be increasingly diluted. But, at the high-end of the market, the Japanese are so far ahead that I think they will keep their position of prominence.

    We know how hard a handful of U.S. domestic breeders have been working in their effort to produce quality koi. They have reached the point where they can produce competitive koi in the mid-range. But, how many? A couple of dozen? Meanwhile, Dainichi is producing how many? ...and SFF, and Momotaro, and Omosako, and Marudo, etc. How many $5,000 koi are produced outside Japan today? Not many. How many $25,000 koi? I'd venture to say not more than an occasional rarity that folks do not accept as being so high-end without a Japanese pedigree. I'd guess that all the non-Japanese breeders combined do not produce as many such koi as Marudo in a bad year. The Chinese may be able to keep costs very low, but I do not see them as any more capable of producing higher quality koi than our domestic U.S. breeders.

    The big question to me is whether the high-end market will be big enough to support the major Japanese producers. I expect they will need to limit capital expansion and cull harder so the high-end market generates sufficient profit to support their operations. To keep ahead, they will need to elevate quality levels continually higher. Today's All-Japan GC needs to become unexceptional. That's good for koi kichi, but not good for all the Japanese breeders who cannot keep up, and I don't think most of them can.

    Meanwhile, the folks who just want some pretty colors in a garden feature will be very happy indeed.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    Steve: We do seem to be thinking along similar lines.

  7. #7
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,653
    Quote Originally Posted by cricket View Post

    if the quality of domestic breds gets high enough they may dominate usa shows in 3 to 6 years

    not necessarily win gc but definitely more in numbers and more winners than there is now
    Wishful thinking.

    In 6 years Japanese bred Koi will still dominate USA koi shows.

  8. #8
    Nisai
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    69

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    Wishful thinking.

    In 6 years Japanese bred Koi will still dominate USA koi shows.

    Perhaps, but 6 years is a small timeframe for any radical shift in market perception. Let's give it a 20-25 year span for a potential change as there is no reason that the breeders here in the US cannot capture and eventually dominate the domestic market.

    My god, they have everything going for them over and above their Japanese counterparts. With the cost of land being so much cheaper here, energy and transportation costs being so much less, and dare I mention the great tax breaks one can derive from the depreciation of equipment, loss carryover, and so on that are not available to the Japanese breeder. Better still, they can market directly to dealer or consumer without the layers of middlemen, brokers, and associated parasites that pad the cost of Japanese koi to unprecedented levels. That $10,000 Japanese koi landing on these shores in all probability netted the breeder a quarter of that price.

    Currently, where the US breeders drop the ball, is when they develop a similar fish and expect to obtain, or come close to the hyperinflated Japanese price. It just 'ain't' going to happen boys! In order to capture the domestic market, prices have to start at a level where any potential buyer is going to do a price comparison and see for himself that he can get a similar fish for 1/3 the money by supporting the domestic breeder.

    I don't care what the Europeans and Chinese are doing. They'll buy into the hype (as we here in the US have done for so long) and drive prices upward, but not forever. It's 'fashionable' for them to do so at the moment, but like every inflated market, a day of reckoning is due, and when they pull out, the crash will be deafening. There is still the semi-derogatory term of 'domestic' when attached to a fish, but that will change. The cachet of a fish being Japanese will one day not carry as much weight, just a higher price tag. A fish is a fish, and I've seen some amazing koi coming out of our domestic farms. Think I could tell that they were domestic? Nope.....think you could too?

    So having rambled on this AM before the first mug of coffee has kicked in and had its magic effect, I will conclude by saying that I believe that our domestic breeders, decades from now, will not only compete with but surpass the foreign entities in quality, pricepoint, and market share. All they need is good business sense and longterm planning, the caveat of which is that in many instances, I have not witnessed these attributes.

    OK, you may now fire away and go for my jugular.............

  9. #9
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    No need to turn this into a domestic vs import thread. There are 'domestics' in every country. There are very dedicated breeders in many countries. The non-Japanese producers are quite capable. Over the past 40 years Japanese breeders have kept ahead of everyone for many reasons, but have lost the complete dominance they held in the 1960s. Just look back at show books from 50 or even 30 years ago. The top koi in the world in 1980 look quite ordinary by today's standards. The bulk of Japanese breeders have failed to keep up with the necessity of continual improvement and no longer are in business. Those who have kept ahead of the norm have survived and grown larger, while losing world-wide market share to 'domestics' around the world. It is simply the effects of increased competition in a global economy where transport costs are not so great a barrier as they once were. The rapid expansion of the Chinese economy through directed investment is adding competitive pressure in all areas. The process that has been at work for 50 years honing the Japanese koi industry will be quickened by Chinese competition.

    I wonder... folks do understand that there are huge volumes of koi imported to the U.S. from Thailand, Malaysia and other non-Japanese Asian countries. The most powerful competitive force knocking U.S. domestic breeders flat these days is not Japan or China, but the smaller Southeast Asia countries. They produce quite beautiful 6-inch koi that can be profitably landed in the U.S. for pennies apiece. Sure, they won't be so beautiful at 20 inches, but neither will the low-end koi U.S. domestic breeders must sell for dollars apiece simply to recoup some costs.

    The global economy means that a business either follows the WalMart model of low costs, or the designer model of uniqueness and quality. The middle ground is not a pleasant place to be.

  10. #10
    Jumbo
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Illinios
    Posts
    536
    Brian Sousa wrote an excellent and insightful article on this very topic called the "State of the Koi Union" in the March/April 2010 issue of KOI USA.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. the economy claims another koi outlet
    By JasPR in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-08-2013, 08:12 PM
  2. koi shows,budgets and the economy
    By dick benbow in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 01-18-2011, 09:25 AM
  3. Economy and Koi
    By jnorth in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-23-2008, 06:15 PM
  4. Hikari Economy
    By TOR in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-21-2006, 07:03 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Articles - Sitemap - FAQs and Rules

KB Footer Graphic
Straight from Japan... For the serious hobbyist!
All content and images copyright of: Koi-bito.com