May 31, 2023


South Korea to lower tariffs on major agricultural imports such as pork



South Korea's finance ministry announced that it has decided to apply tariff-rate quotas on eight major food imports, such as pork and mackerel in an effort to ease the burden on households amidst increasing consumer prices, The Korea Herald reported.


The plan, which was approved at a Cabinet meeting, will involve lifting tariffs on 45,000 tonnes of pork and 10,000 tonnes of mackerel, starting from early June.


While there has been a slight slowdown in overall consumer price growth this year, certain agricultural, fishery, and livestock products in South Korea have experienced significant price hikes due to short-term supply shortages and rising global prices, the finance ministry said.


In April, the local consumer prices of pork and mackerel rose by 4.2% and 13.5%, respectively.


The finance ministry attributed the higher prices of pork to the increased outdoor activities of South Koreans, while the decline in mackerel production from Norway contributed to the local price increase.


The new policy will remain in effect until December for pork and until August for mackerel.


Tariff-rate quotas function as a system where products are imported with favorable duty conditions within a designated volume, while higher tariffs are applied to amounts imported beyond the limit.


Earlier this month, separate data showed that South Korea's consumer prices grew at the slowest pace in over a year in April, primarily due to falling global oil prices. Consumer prices, which serve as a key indicator of inflation, rose by 3.7% last month compared to the same period last year, in contrast to a 4.2% year-on-year increase in March. Inflation in the country has remained above the central bank's target of 2% for the 25th consecutive month in April.


-      The Korea Herald

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