Published : 2013-09-13 20:26
Updated : 2013-09-13 20:26
South Korea may soon start exporting its beef to Hong Kong and other Chinese-speaking countries, marking the first outbound shipment of Hanwoo, or Korean beef, in its history, officials from a farmers’ association said Friday.
According to officials from the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, better known as Nonghyup, its Hoengseong branch employees recently visited Hong Kong for a meeting with local importers.
“I understand Hoengseong officials recently made a trip to Hong Kong for the start of exports to Chinese-speaking countries and received a very positive response from local importers,” a Nonghyup official said.
Hoengseong is a town located some 130 kilometers east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, one of the better known regions for beef production in South Korea.
The only major obstacle for the start of exporting Hanwoo is the fact that the country has yet to regain the status of nation free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) following the 2011 outbreak of the viral disease that affects cattle and other hoofed animals, such as pigs and sheep, according to the Nonghyup official.
However, the Hoengseong cooperative is expected to soon start exporting its beef to Hong Kong as the local importers there said small shipments will still be possible even before South Korea regains its status as an FMD-free country, the official said.
Also, the country is expected to gain FMD-free status with vaccination from the World Organization for Animal Health within the first half of next year, according to officials from the Agriculture Ministry.
The high price of Korean beef had thought to be another obstacle to global sales of Hanwoo, but the Hoengseong official said the price of Hanwoo may be very competitive in the global market for premium beef, noting top quality Hanwoo is currently sold at around 120,000 won ($110) while Wagyu (Japanese beef) is traded at around $166-$184 per kilogram in Hong Kong. (Yonhap News)