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US Korea free trade deal takes effect this week

Beef Central, 16/03/2012

US beef exports to Australia’s third largest market of Korea are set to increase in coming weeks after the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement came into effect this week.

The agreement reduces Korea’s import tariff for US beef from 40pc, to 37.33pc.

Meat and Livestock Australia reports that trading companies have left US beef volumes at customs for some time, to wait for the announced tariff reduction to come into effect before importing.

“This could possibly lead to a rise in US beef volumes to the market in coming weeks,” MLA reports on its website today.

“Industry sources also reported that some Korean retailers have recently conducted US beef promotions to clear stocks and have been strategic in their purchasing – eyeing reduced US beef items.”

MLA’s report says average prices for the majority of imported beef cuts in the wholesale market were steady this week.

Australian beef cuts in the market remain below price levels last year – with short ribs down approximately 10pc year-on-year.

High Australian beef stocks, solid overall market supplies and low consumer demand have contributed to the decline.

In other trade news this week, the European parliament this week approved a deal to set annual EU quota for the import of high-quality beef from cattle that have not been treated with growth hormones at 48,000 tonnes.

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