August 25, 2010

South Korean chicken imports soar 70% in January-July



South Korea's imports of chicken soared nearly 70% on-year in the first seven months of the year as demand rose due to outbreaks of a contagious pig disease and the World Cup season, a report showed Tuesday (Aug 24).

Chicken imports totalled 52,446 tonnes in the January-July period, up 69.9% from a year earlier, said the report by the Korea Customs Service.

According to the report, the sharp increase came as consumers opted for chicken rather than pork or beef in the wake of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks across the country, which affects cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle and pigs.

Also responsible for the surge was the high popularity of fried chicken as a nighttime snack during the World Cup season, it said.

More than 56% of the chicken imports were brought in from the US, followed by Brazil with nearly 40%, according to the report.

Imported chicken, mostly packaged as frozen chicken parts, takes up more than 14% of the country's total chicken consumption.

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