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Korean beef prices continue to climb

Prices of Korean beef, or “Hanwoo,” are continuing to rise due to growing demand and fewer Korean-bred cattle, data showed Friday.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the average price of beef from a cow weighing 600 kg rose from 5.12 million won ($4,450) in 2014 to 5.87 million won in 2015.

After passing the 6 million-won mark this year, prices continued to rise. It hit 6.67 million won last month.

This marks a nearly 30 percent increase compared to March 2015.


The Agriculture Ministry attributed the rising prices to falling supply coupled with rising demand.  

In order to prevent sharp falls in prices of Hanwoo, in 2012, the government had started providing subsidies to cattle farms to reduce their stock of female cows. 

As a result of that policy, the number of cows bred in Korea fell from 2.93 million in 2012 to 2.56 million in 2015. 

At the same time, consumption of beef is rising in Korea, according to the Agriculture Ministry. The average Korean consumed 10.8 kilograms of beef in 2014, up from 10.3 kg in 2013 and 9.7 kg in 2012.

By Won Ho-jung (