South Korean Pig Meat Output Restored to Pre-FMD Level

SOUTH KOREA - The sharp reduction in pork imports in 2013 is a good sign that the country's domestic industry has recovered from the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak four years ago, writes Jackie Linden.
calendar icon 7 February 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

Following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in South Korea in late 2010, its domestic pig producers have recovered to their previous levels of output, according to the German meat association, VDF. As a result, the country's import requirements for fresh and frozen products have fallen back noticeably.

In 2013, pig meat imports to South Korea were 23 per cent below the level of the previous year at 292,800 tonnes. Even an eight per cent reduction in import prices could not stop this decline. The value of pig meat imports for the year fell by around 30 per cent to KRW900 billion (around €615 million).

Imports from the EU were especially hard hit, registering a reduction of more than 26 per cent compared to 2012. For the third consecutive year, Germany was the main source of pig meat imports from the EU but even here, the volume exported to South Korea was nearly 10 per cent lower at 32,300 tonnes. Germany made some gains in relation to other exporters, with its share of the Korean market increasing two per cent to a total of 11 per cent. Pig meat exports by Spain, for example, were down 30 per cent at 18,400 tonnes.

South Korean imports of fresh and frozen pig meat from non-EU countries were also cut in 2013 - to 178,500 tonnes or 21 per cent down on the previous year. All three of the top exporting countries were affected: US (-16 per cent), Canada (-32 per cent) and Chile (-18 per cent). Despite the volume reduction, US was able to gain in its share of the South Korean market by two per cent to 35 per cent, making it easily the main source of South Korean pig meat imports in 2013.

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