February 14, 2011


South Korea to increase its tariff quota on pork



South Korea will raise the volume limit of imported pork and subject to its tariff quota system, so as to eliminate market anxiety triggered by latest price instability, according to Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance Jong-Yong Yim.


Yim said this at a meeting with senior economic policymakers in Seoul.


Seoul imposed a tariff quota last month on a total of 60,000 tonnes of pork, cutting import taxes from 25% to zero until June. Yim said the government will also add new items subject to the system from the current 67 by closely monitoring market prices of consumer goods.


The move comes as policymakers are pushing to pre-emptively tame inflation amid concerns over rising food and other commodity prices. South Korea is also facing a meat shortage because of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) epidemic.


More than 3.5 million pigs, cattle, goat and deer have been culled, and the 3 million pigs killed so far roughly account for one-third of the country's head count.


It was also reported that a debate is arising among ministries over whether the country should delay its free trade agreement (FTA) schedule because of the FMD crisis.

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