October 20, 2008


Australian beef exports to South Korea receive bleak outlook

Australia's beef shipments to South Korea in September fell 10 percent on-year due to the return of US beef, and a continuous decline is expected.


Between August and September this year, exports to South Korea grew 31 percent to 9,349 tonnes swt, due to lower stocks in the country after the Chuseok holiday and the slow return of US beef.


However, as imports of US beef gradually increase, it is expected that US beef will start replacing Australian frozen retail products in the near future.


In the meantime, prices for Australian beef in the South Korean wholesale market either fell or remained stagnant due to the high exchange rate. The high Korean won against the US dollar has forced importers to increase prices, leading to a decline of orders from retailers.


Some importers were unwilling to pay import fees for shipments, as most traders report low cash flows, and the Korean market maintains its low stock levels as a result. Importers are expected to lift volumes once the Korean won stabilises against the US dollar.

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