August 24, 2011


Strong beef demand precedes South Korea's harvest festival



Strong beef demand in the last few weeks leading up to Chuseok, a major Korean harvest festival, has strengthened average prices for the majority of imported beef cuts in South Korea's wholesale market.    


General reports in the wholesale market suggest volumes have picked up due to the upcoming Chuseok period, with numbers appearing to be higher than last year.


The increase in Korean beef demand has also been revealed by the latest results from a survey conducted by the Korea Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Inc. The online survey among 3,822 married women revealed that 11.3% participants had voted the galbee (short rib) beef set as the most preferred gift for the upcoming Chuseok period.


Lotte Mart, one of Korea's largest hypermarkets, calculated that the price of a shopping basket with products needed for an ancestral memorial service this Chuseok increased 5.2% on-year (Dong-a Ilbo). The basket included 28 different items, such as beef, apples, pears and persimmons. To keep a lid on rising price pressures ahead of the holidays, the Korean government said it would increase the supply of 15 key products.


Following the 4.4% on-year rise in Korea's consumer price index in June this year, the inflation rate accelerated to 4.7% last month.

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