Retail success drives US beef’s growth in Korea

15-Mar-2019 Intellasia | Feed Stuffs | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Korea is now second-largest international destination for US beef in volume and value.

US beef exports climbed by more than $1 billion in 2018, reaching a record $8.33 billion, according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). However, South Korea alone accounted for about half of this growth, with exports increasing $526 million to $1.75 billiona 43 percent rise from 2017.

“Korea is now the second-largest international destination for US beef in both volume and value, trailing only Japan, and the United States accounts for 58 percent of Korea’s chilled beef imports,” USMEF relayed.

USMEF Korea director Jihae Yang recently provided more details on US beef’s soaring popularity in Korea, noting that Korean consumers crave high-quality, well-marbled beef at a reasonable price.

“That desire is the major demand factor,” she added.

Another key factor driving demand is that US beef is now available to a wider range of consumers because of ample supplies and lower import duties under the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), USMEF noted. Since KORUS took effect in 2012, the duty rate on US beef cuts has dropped from 40 percent to 18.7 percent and will decline to zero by 2026.

Yang said that US beef has achieved tremendous growth in Korea’s retail sector, including COSTCO-Korea’s conversion of its chilled beef offerings from Australian to US beef. But consumer preferences and shopping habits are ever-changing, so USMEF is working to increase the presence of US beef in less traditional retail outlets such as convenience stores and e-commerce platforms.


Category: Korea

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