Korea biggest US beef importer

James Nason, 16/05/2011

Korea has retained its position as the United States’ number one export market for beef for the second straight month.

US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) figures confirm that Korea imported 22,077 tonnes of beef from the US in March, more than four times the volume it took in the corresponding month last year.

Korea’s beef imports have risen sharply this year in the wake of a devastating foot and mouth disease outbreak that has forced it to cull more than three million head of domestic livestock since November 2010.

Korean imports of Australian beef also rose in the same period, climbing to 16,555t according to Meat and Livestock Australia, a rise of 48% on the same month last year.

The US Meat Export Federation announced in a May 4 press that it was using additional USDA market access funding to intensify its efforts to expand US beef exports to Korea.

South Korea was the third largest importer of US beef in 2003 prior to the discovery of BSE in the US. After a long period of low activity in the market US beef sales to Korea increased significantly in 2010, and surged in recent months following Korea’s FMD outbreak. 


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