Over Half of Korea's Beef Imports Come from U.S.

  • By Ryu Jung

    December 03, 2019 11:20

    U.S. beef accounts for more than half of all beef imported here for the first time in 16 years.

    Korea imported a record 209,034 tons of American beef from January to October this year, up 7.9 percent on-year and accounting for 50.4 percent of all beef imports, the Korea International Trade Association said Monday.

    The last time imports from the U.S. accounted for more than half was in 2003 (68.3 percent), just before an outbreak of mad cow disease in America temporarily halted them.

    Demand for Australian and New Zealand beef, which surged after the outbreak, has declined.

    Australian beef imports fell 1.1 percent on-year to 175,082 tons in the first 10 months of this year, while beef from New Zealand dropped 13.5 percent to 18,371 tons.

    Moon Byung-ki at KITA said, "The rising imports of U.S. beef appear to be due to lower tariffs, which have fallen two to three percent each year since the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement took effective in 2012."

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