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Monthly Korean beef imports highest since 2003

Beef Central, 29/09/2011

Korean beef imports during August reached their highest monthly total since 2003, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

Increased demand for beef in the lead up to Korea’s annual Chuseok harvest festival helped to drive Korean beef imports to 31,611t during August, the highest monthly total since January 2003, MLA said yesterday.

Korean imports from Australia during totalled 14,902 tonnes swt, accounting for 47pc of Korea’s total beef imports for the month. That was 19pc higher than Australian beef imports in August 2010.

The US captured 41pc on the imported market during August, a 55pc increase on the same month last year.

MLA said US beef has been rapidly gaining ground in the Korean beef market during 2011, assisted by the ability to supply large volumes of short rib (mainly frozen) and the weak US dollar.

New Zealand and Mexico made up 10pc and 1pc of the imported beef market, respectively, during August.

Total Korean beef imports for January to August are up 20pc year-on-year, or 33,310 tonnes swt – with short ribs accounting for about one third of the growth.

Australia's imported market share for the period was 49pc, with total volumes for the eight months up 12pc year-on-year. The US contributed 38pc of total imports, with volumes up 45pc year-on-year.

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