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Korean Beef Imports from Australia Improve

16 October 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

SOUTH KOREA - According to the latest import statistics released by Korean International Trade Association, Korean beef imports on a customs cleared basis during August fell by eight per cent year-on-year, to 24,682 tonnes.

This was largely driven by a significant decline in supplies from the US, down 14 per cent year-on-year, to 9,246 tonnes, and New Zealand, down 24 per cent, to 2,058 tonnes, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

Despite a 48 per cent year-on-year rise in chilled beef imports from the US during August, at 818 tonnes, attributing to the decreased total imports was lower frozen beef volumes, at 8,428 tonnes (down 17 per cent year-on-year). Impacting the total imports from NZ was Korea’s reduced intake of NZ frozen beef, at 2,056 tonnes – down 24 per cent year-on-year.

In contrast, Korea imported more beef from Australia during August, at 13,190 tonnes (up two per cent year-on-year), assisted by a two per cent year-on-year rise in frozen beef volumes, at 10,278 tonnes, and steady demand for chilled product, at 2,911 tonnes.

Reflecting a reported struggle to secure short rib in recent months, Korea’s total imports of short rib during August was down 21 per cent year-on-year, to 8,304 tonnes (on a quarantine cleared basis, Quarantine and Inspection Agency).

Frozen short rib imports from the US and Australia each contracted 23 per cent and 18 per cent year-on-year, at 4,470 tonnes and 1,755 tonnes, respectively. However, improved seasonal (Chuseok) demand for chilled short rib assisted the US chilled short rib volumes rising 69 per cent year-on-year, to 417 tonnes.

While the import volumes of major cuts, including short rib, imported into Korea decreased during August, Korea secured 54 per cent more chuck roll than August last year, at 3,608 tonnes, assisted by a 62 per cent year-on-year increase in imports from Australia, at 3,193 tonnes.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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