November 10, 2008
Korean beef market remains volatile
Although Korean wholesalers have reported low trade activity over the last few weeks, Australian beef and veal exports to Korea remained strong in October at 13,213 tonnes, according to the Meat and Livestock Australia reports.
MLA says exports consisted of 1964 tonnes of chilled beef and 11,249 tonnes of frozen product.
Shipments were down 1 percent on October 2007 but were 41 percent up on September 2008. MLA says cancellations in Russia shipments in late September could have contributed to the increased volumes to Korea in October.
Australian exporters believe wholesale prices have been too low, which may reflect the difficult credit position of Korean traders.
Although total beef imports in Korea have risen with the return of US beef, industry analysts insist there has been an overall decrease in Korean beef demand in both the retail and foodservice sectors due to food safety concerns and the financial crisis.
US beef continues to be available at only a relatively small number of butcher shops and restaurants in Korea, maintaining Australian beef's strong presence in the market.