Korea Increases Beef Imports From Australia

AUSTRALIA and KOREA - Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) reports that the recent foot and mouth disease outbreak in Korea has improved Australian beef exports.
calendar icon 25 July 2011
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

Australia exported 6,697 tonnes swt of beef to Korea from the first to the 18 of July, with chilled beef making up 26 per cent (DAFF). According to market sources, trading activity on imported beef cuts in the Korean wholesale market has been steady.

The Hankook Ilbo newspaper reported this week that the Korea Consumer Agency found that while farm prices for Korean Hanwoo beef dropped significantly from April to June this year, consumer prices for some cuts in certain retailers have been unchanged.

Average prices for a Hanwoo carcase in the Korean wholesale market during this period dropped from KRW16,321p/kg (A$16.00/kg) last year, to KRW12,055 p/kg (A$10.77/kg) this year.

Assisting this price fall has been the reduction of Hanwoo consumption after foot-and-mouth disease spread through Korea earlier this year.

Additionally, Hanwoo slaughter between April and June increased 38 per cent compared with last year, putting additional product into the market.

Korean imports of Australian beef for 2010-11 rose eight per cent compared with 2009-10, capturing 51 per cent of the imported market, totalling 284,078 tonnes swt.

Korean beef imports for the past fiscal year were the second highest on record, only surpassed by 335,485 tonnes swt during 2002-03.

On top of rising beef imports, Korean beef production has continued to expand, despite the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) battle earlier this year that resulted in the culling of more than 150,000 cattle. As at June 2011, Korea's beef cattle herd exceeded three million head - the highest in the past decade.

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