US beef exports to Korea setting new records

15-Aug-2019 Intellasia | FeedStuffs | 6:02 AM Print This Post

US beef exports to South Korea set a new monthly value record in June, at more than $178 million, according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF); export volume was 2 percent higher than a year ago, at 25,118 metric tonnes. For the first half of 2019, export volume was 12 percent higher, and value to Korea was 15 percent ahead of last year’s record pace.

According to USMEF, Korea surpassed Mexico as the second-largest destination for US beef exports. This year, it’s closing the gap on leading market Japan.

USMEF Korea director Jihae Yang explained that the market offers a variety of opportunities for US beef.

“US beef has been successfully established in Korean retail and foodservices, but it [is] also rapidly gaining popularity in e-commerce,” she said.

Further, she relayed that recent export growth is not only in the typical Korean items like short ribs or chuck eye roll but also in underutilised cuts like short plate, brisket points, clod and even the round.

This is occurring, she said, because end users recognise the versatility and affordability of high-quality US beef.

Yang said the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) accelerated market demand and beef consumption in Korea. In fact, since the implementation of KORUS, Korea’s per capita consumption of beef has increased by 5.5 lb.

According to Yang, the quality of home meal replacement is now almost equivalent to restaurant quality, but at 42-50 percent of the cost of restaurant menu prices. She pointed out that a meal kit for two people costs about $10-12.

“Local beef cannot meet this price point, so US beef is capturing this fast-growing opportunity,” Yang said.


Category: Korea

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