Australia awaits Canada in Korean beef market

An Australian meat marketing and market development agency would welcome Canadian beef’s return to South Korea, according to reports.

Jim Lim, regional manager in Korea for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), was quoted Monday by Australian network ABC as saying such a move — which he believes will happen this year — would increase the supply of beef available for Korean consumers.

Koreans, he said on ABC Rural, now consume about 30 kg of pork per person and only about 16 kg of beef per person.

“In terms of the beef pie, it’s relatively small, and any competitor or another supplier into the market is only going to help us increase that (total) beef pie, and that’s what we want at the end of the day.”

South Korea has shut its ports to Canadian beef since 2003, allowing Australia to expand its beef exports there in spite of a 40 per cent tariff, ABC said.

Australian beef exports to Korea rose 18 per cent in 2010 over 2009, to A$680 million, the broadcaster said.

Canadian beef’s return to Korea wouldn’t damage the Australian trade, MLA said.

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