The Price of Nishikigoi

In this example I am taking the sensible option of packing 20 of these Koi in each carton and allowing 18 kilos weight for a sealed carton. This is safety without extravagance; it is also very prudent as the Koi will arrive in perfect condition.

Of course we can ‘economise’? – by putting 40 in a sealed carton of 14 kilos – especially if we are very greedy and also very, very stupid.

If we are really ‘very clever’ businessmen we know we can get 500 Koi in a carton with no water at all – but I digress!

So there we have it, sensibility and 20 Koi at 18 kilos per carton – just take my word for this, I have done this more than once or twice.

I am now going to make an educated stab as to the associated ‘internal’ costs per carton mentioned above excluding actual airfreight charges and this will be 3,700yen as an ‘average’ – I could detail this exactly for each shipment of different carton quantities but it is far too tiresome – just take my word please.

And now onto the wonderful subject of airfreight costs for goods shipped from Japan to other countries – in this instance we are talking about the specific commodity of ‘LIVE FISH’. For reasons unknown, some dealers still shroud all this by secrets, truly believing that they get some very incredibly cheap airfreight rates from their Japanese agents.

If I ever hear another Koi Dealer mentioning the fact he pays ‘£95.00 Per Carton Landed’ for his Airfreight – even once again, I think I’ll scream and put this stupid term along with other crass Koi terms such as ‘Chags’; ‘Japmat’ and ‘Growing It On’.

Airfreight rates for ALL commodities sent out of Japan are set by Japan Airlines – FACT!

For the commodity known as ‘Live Fish’ under 100 kilos total, unless things have changed, this is 1,500yen per kilo. Once the 100 kilos is exceeded then the overall weight produces ‘Co-Rate’ at 1,200yen per kilo and so a 105 kilo shipment will cost 126,000yen for the freight content.

Of course, all of this is known to the other carriers coming out of Japan – BA; Virgin: ANA; Lufthansa; KLM etc. etc. and all of these would dearly love to fill their empty holds with any kind of paying cargo to make their flights more economical and, as a result, secret prices can be ‘negotiated’ – usually by agents and freight forwarders.

Whether this is passed onto the person paying the bill is another matter and is not my concern but it does come to a stage where a minimum price can be found and, trust me, that is a minimum price and, whilst it is never officially written, it is carved in stone and can never be further reduced.

However, dear gullible Koi dealers, the purchase price of Koi can easily be ‘adjusted’ to ‘compensate and more’ for extremely low airfreight quotations per carton given as a carrot to their dealer customers by some agents, but that is another matter altogether, again not my concern.

For those still insisting on giving ‘£XXX per Carton Landed’ – they are still in the tadpole stages of Koi dealing. Please talk to me in future and quote ‘Yen Per Kilo’ because that is what governs it all.

If you put 20 x 12cms Koi in a carton that weighs 14 kilos it will cost you 14 times your quoted cost per kilo.

If you put one 85cms Koi in a carton that weighs 70 kilos it will cost you 70 times your quoted cost per kilo.

Over the years my own ‘Cost per Carton Landed’ has varied from £50.00 to £750.00 and all prices in-between because it is all down to the actual weight of the specific carton in question.

With regard to cartons that have cost me £750.00 in airfreight costs, in these examples, the price was peanuts bearing in mind the eye-watering cost of the single Koi inside the carton!

For the airfreight costs relating to the options given above for purchasing the tosai I am calculating at 1,100yen per kilo. In this instance, 18 kilos is 19,800yen – add to this the 3,700yen for peripherals and we get 23,500yen per carton. This is for all costs involved in getting the Koi from the breeder’s premises delivered to Heathrow Airport in this particular example.

Now the task is to relate total landed costs of the Koi to the above options. This is easily calculated as follows: –

  • 1. 3,500 Koi plus shipping 175 cartons – total 6,387,500yen.

  • 2. 2,000 Koi plus shipping 100 cartons – total 4,850,000yen.

  • 3. 1,000 Koi plus shipping 50 cartons – total 2,825,000yen.

  • 4. 500 Koi plus shipping 25 cartons – total 2,587,500yen.

  • 5. 100 Koi plus shipping 5 cartons – total 1,187,500yen.

  • 6. 50 Koi plus shipping 3 cartons – total 1,708,750yen

  • 7. 25 Koi plus shipping 2 cartons – total 2,029,375yen.

Of course, the ‘overall expense’ has not yet finished because I am assuming the buyer will make a visit to the breeder to select his stocks – today add £1,500.00 minimum for a 10 day visit to cover this. Then, on arrival of the Koi, add 8% duty to UK landed prices then add £250.00 for clearing agent then add £250.00? for van hire/fuel costs to collect and then add 15% VAT to the lot. These costs must obviously be added to produce the final actual total but we’ll put these on one side at the moment.


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