US pork export value to South Korea trends higher - USMEF

Competition to intensify as S. Korea adopts duty-free TRQ
calendar icon 15 June 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

According to a recent report from US Meat Export Federation, pork exports value to South Korea is trending higher in 2022, driven in part by strong retail demand for convenience-based items and chilled pork cuts.

While April exports trended lower, January-April value was still up 9% from a year ago to $206.9 million. Export volume to Korea fell 7% through April to 58,986 mt, but Korea’s imports of chilled US pork were up 26% in volume (3,523 mt) and climbed 54% in value to $24.8 million.

Competition in this market will further intensify when the Korean government implements a duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) later this month. With imports from the US, European Union and Chile already entering at zero duty under free trade agreements, the main beneficiaries of the TRQ are expected to be Canadian, Mexican and Brazilian pork.

Canada is already a major chilled pork supplier, and currently pays an 8.6% duty. Mexico and Brazil have a relatively small presence in the Korean pork market and are subject to duties on 22.5% on chilled pork and 25% on frozen. Although Korea’s domestic pork production is expected to be record-large this year, hog prices are at a record high of about $2.65 per pound.

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