October 17, 2008


US pork widens presence in South Korea
US pork exports to South Korea has increased 47 percent on-year in the first eight months of 2008, but challenges remain as the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) looks to enlarge their presence in this key market.


From January to August 2008, the US exported 92,636 tonnes of pork and pork variety meats to South Korea, up 47 percent on-year. Pork export value during the period rose 28 percent to US$194 million, and the export volume represents a 355-percent jump since 2003.


"We expect that US pork exports to South Korea will continue to meet or exceed forecasts for 2008 and South Korea's position as an anchor market for US pork will remain solid," said Phil Seng from the USMEF.


However, US pork exports to South Korea still face certain challenges.


Recent series of food safety issues involving foreign food imports have compounded fears in South Korea, said Seng.


The global financial crisis has also reduced sharply the value of the Korean won and the Australian dollar, crimping US competitiveness, according to Seng.


Seng said this issue will be discussed in the next USMEF board meeting in November, and that the organisation will continue to achieve broad-based visibility for US beef as well.

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