The Korean wholesale market continued to be impacted by slow trading conditions this week.
On top of subdued beef demand, high beef stocks and tightening of funds among importing companies, tariff-free pork imports also continue to impact the market.
Meat stocks have been reportedly pushed to the limit, assisted by Korea’s ongoing imports of tariff-free pork following the foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease outbreaks in late 2010.
In the first six months this year, Korea imported 100,000 tonnes swt of tariff-free pork with an additional 50,000 tonnes swt expected to be imported trough to the end of the year.
The Korean Swine Association said earlier this year that the tariff-free imports are hurting Korean pig farmers, as prices continue to drop, along with the rising cost of production and lower import tariffs on US and EU pork due to Free Trade Agreements signed earlier this year.
Korean beef imports in May totaled 20,688 tonnes swt – decreasing 19% year-on-year and 7% on the previous month (KITA).
The fall in imports was caused mostly by the delay in US beef imports at Korean customs, as the government increased their inspection ratio sharply after the US reported on a new case of BSE in April this year.
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