August 12, 2008


South Korea's import of US beef surges for Chuseok holiday


South Korea's import of bone-in US beef is getting feverish in preparation to Chuseok, the country's biggest national holiday.


Local meat importer E-net Corp said 60 tonnes of US beef, including 40 tonnes of the tender short ribs used in Korean marinated delicacy galbi, already arrived at the port of Busan.


The imported beef is headed for South Korean retailers and online shopping malls later this week after passing through quarantine inspection and customs.


Price of tender short ribs is pegged around KRW1,700 (US$1.6) per 100 grammes and KRW1,000 for 100 grammes of chuck eye roll.


Furthermore, E-net is planning to bring 80 more tonnes of beef and 60 tonnes will follow four days later.


Another importer, A-meat, is planning to import 100 tonnes of meat by August 15. A market insider said that the beef is selling better than expected.


"Importers are rushing to get orders for US beef because demand is likely to increase sharply with Chuseok coming up," the insider said. He said that the imports are likely to exceed 1,000 tonnes of meat this month.


Meanwhile, California-based beef manufacturer S&S has voluntarily recalled 69 tonnes of ground beef after the US Food Safety and Inspection Service found E. coli in its product.

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