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Korea’s H1 pork, beef imports soar on FMD

Korea’s imports of pork and beef surged in the first half of the year from a year earlier due to the spread of foot-and-mouth disease that led to the culling of millions of animals here, a state agency said Tuesday.

South Korea imported 219,681 tons of pork in the January-June period, up 120 percent from 99,899 tons a year earlier, according to the Animal, Plant and Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Agency.

The amount of beef imports rose 29 percent from 145,597 tons to 187,874 tons.

The jump was largely attributed to the spread of the animal disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals, including pigs, cows and sheep, forcing the Seoul government to destroy over 3 million or one-third of all pigs in the country, along with thousands of heads of cattle.

No FMD case has been reported here since late May.

Of total pork imports, more than 43 percent, or some 95,000 tons, came from the United States, whose exports to South Korea spiked 223 percent from a year earlier.

U.S. beef imports also rose 54.6 percent to 68,000 tons, accounting for 36.2 percent of all offshore beef products brought here in the first half of the year.

The largest share of the foreign beef market went to Australia, which shipped 89,659 tons, up 20.8 percent from 74,206 tons in the first half of 2010, according to the agency. 

(Yonhap News)
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