American beef whose imports had triggered massive nationwide protests amid mad cow scare have become bestsellers in the import section, fueling Korea’s beef imports to an all-time high last year.
According to the Korea Customs Service (KCS) Sunday, customs-cleared American frozen and refrigerated beef imports amounted to 13,921 tons in November last year, outpacing Australia’s 10,310 tons.
Except for once in August last year, Australian produces ranked first in beef imports to Korea since 2003. American brand topped beef imports since the market was liberalized in 2001. But American meat was banned from 2003 due to public protests and jitters about mad cow disease. Imports were renewed from 2008, but never recovered until recently due to eased public concerns and price appeal.
Australian beef became costlier due to product shortage from lengthy drought and increasing demand from other Asian markets.
Beef imports in the first 11 months last year reached an all-time high of 346,893 tons due to surge in American imports.
By Baek Sang-kyung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]