September 5, 2020
US beef exports face new challenge as South Korea re-imposes COVID-19 restrictions
The recent wave of COVID-19 cases in South Korea has posed a new challenge for US beef as the South Asian country re-imposed heightened social distancing requirements particularly in Seoul, including restrictions on some food and beverage providers and a suspension of large gatherings, Farm Journals's Pork reports.
In an audio clip included in the report, US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom said that while the restrictions affecting food producers pose a big challenge for US beef in one of the US' largest international destinations, they can be partly offset by growth in retail beef purchases and in takeout and delivery services developed during the pandemic.
In 2017, 14 years after its beef was banned by South Korea following a US outbreak of mad cow disease, the US reclaimed its spot as the top beef exporter to that South Asian country.
Meanwhile, 2020 has also been a challenging year for US pork exports to South Korea, primarily because of increased domestic pork production. Nevertheless, Halstrom said US pork continues to capitalise on Koreans' rapidly growing appetite for home meal replacement items and other products that allow consumer convenience.