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Korean Beef Imports Sluggish in April

28 May 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

SOUTH KOREA - Korean beef imports during April were down by eight per cent year-on-year, to 20,513 tonnes on a customs cleared basis according to the Korean International Trade Association.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that the decrease in the monthly import volume was largely due to a fall in the intake of frozen beef, at 17,316 tonnes (down 10 per cent year-on-year).

In contrast, chilled beef import volumes improved to 3,198 tonnes – up five per cent year-on-year, but still eight per cent lower than the five-year average for April.

While beef imports from major suppliers declined during April, the volumes of Australia beef increased 11 per cent year-on-year, at 11,927 tonnes.

Korea secured more Australian chilled product than April last year, at 2,559 tonnes (up 13 per cent), along with strong demand for frozen beef, at 9,367 tonnes (up 11 per cent year-on-year).

Korea imported 5,964 tonnes of US beef during April, down 29 per cent year-on-year. Underpinning the decrease was weak demand for both chilled and frozen product, at 634 tonnes (down 17 per cent) and 5,330 tonnes (31 per cent), respectively.

While the US remained the largest short rib supplier to Korea during April, the volumes fell 19 per cent year-on-year, at 3,722 tonnes (quarantine cleared basis, Quarantine and Inspection Agency).

However, imports of Australian short rib remained at a similar level to April last year, at 2,495 tonnes, with nine per cent year-on-year growth in the volumes of frozen short rib (1,810 tonnes). Brisket imports were also down seven per cent year-on-year, to 1,670 tonnes, due to a significant drop in the volumes from the US, at 562 tonnes (down 54 per cent year-on-year). With the decreased volumes from the US, Korea imported more brisket from Australia during April - up 120 per cent, to 939 tonnes.

Korea has taken shin/shank as an alternate cut, with the imports of Australian shin/shank for the first four months almost doubled, to 1,134 tonnes, compared to the corresponding period last year (630 tonnes).

TheMeatSite News Desk

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