South Korea is considering re-opening its market to Uruguayan beef for the first time this year since it banned imports from the South American country due to a Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak in 2001.
Quoting a statement from Korea’s Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (MIFAFF) in Korean meat, Meat & Livestock Australia today reported that Korea could start importing Uruguayan beef as early as October.
The Korean Government statement said it would approve Uruguayan processing facilities following on-site inspections and would import only boneless beef once all procedures were finalised.
In 2001, Uruguay exported only small volumes of beef to Korea, but was banned after the discovery of FMD in its cattle herd.
A Korean Government official stated that MIFAFF shared the information regarding the resumption of Uruguayan beef imports with Korean producer groups, consumer groups and veterinary professors at the
National Livestock Health Control Council meeting earlier this year, with no particular objections raised.
MLA said Uruguay currently exports around 300,000 tonnes cwt of beef annually to various countries.
Last month, Korea also announced it would allow imports of Chilean beef, following its compliance with Korean import health requirements.
Both countries would join Australia, US, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico in an increasingly competitive Korean beef market.
Uruguayan beef exports for the first six months of 2012 increased 14pc year-onyear, to 125,674 tonnes swt (INAC), with larger volumes to Israel, the US and Chile, MLA reported last Friday.
Uruguayan exports to the US for January to June increased 43pc year-on-year, to 12,626 tonnes swt. For the same period, exports to Chile increased 86pc year-onyear, to 8,770 tonnes swt, while shipments to Israel jumped 85pc, to 14,935 tonnes swt.
While Russia remained as Uruguay’s largest export beef market during the first half of 2012, shipments declined 4pc yearon-year, to 37,352 tonnes swt.