December 26, 2011
South Korea's beef imports up 20% in Jan-Nov
South Korea imported 23,533 tonnes of beef in November, taking the total for the first 11 months of 2011 to 283,103 tonnes, up 20% on-year, according to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
Prior to the US' BSE outbreak in 2003 and the subsequent import ban, Korean beef imports for the same period totalled 301,459 tonnes, MLA said.
Of the 47,484-tonne increase in Korean beef imports for 2011, 66% of the additional volume was US beef, 31% was Australian beef and 3% was New Zealand product.
US beef (mostly frozen) has made a solid return to the market since re-entry in the Korean beef market in July 2008. While Korea imported a monthly average of 4,803 (91% frozen) tonnes of US beef from January to November in 2009, average monthly imports for 2011 have totalled 9,678 (92% frozen) tonnes during the same period this year.
MLA stated that Australian beef continues to maintain the largest imported market share at 49%, while the US, New Zealand and Mexico hold a 38%, 11% and 2% share, respectively.