May 4, 2022


South Korean pork imports return to pre-pandemic levels



In Q1 2022, total pork (including offal) imports in South Korea increased by 41% year-on-year to 152,000 tonnes, returning to pre-pandemic levels, the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board reported.


South Korea is an important Asian market for pork, with annual pork consumption of 27kg per capita outpacing local supply. Production has risen steadily in recent years, reaching 1.4 million tonnes in 2021. This yield is expected to be duplicated in 2022, according to the US Deparment of Agriculture (USDA).


South Korean pork demand is stable at roughly 2 million tonnes per year (cwe), with the rest of the meat imported.


The EU, the US, Canada, and South America are the main exporting regions to South Korea.


Despite Germany's restriction on exporting pork to South Korea due to African swine fever (ASF) in 2021, the EU still has the highest market share of imports. Spain's export volume to South Korea has quadrupled since 2019, owing to expanding local output and, more recently, the Chinese market's relaxing. Spain's increased exports to South Korea have had a knock-on impact on the US market share, which was over 40% before to 2022 but has since decreased to 25%.


Only 610 tonnes of pork were shipped from the UK in Q1 2022, accounting for less than 1% of the South Korean import market.


-      UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

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