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Sales of US beef on rise: data

Sales of US beef increased in South Korea this year on the back of relatively cheap prices, while Australian beef suffered a setback in sales, industry data showed Tuesday.

The sales of US beef at E-Mart, the leading retailer in the country, jumped 1.8 times on-year in the first 11 days of December.

By comparison, sales of Australian beef shrank 10.1 percent on-year during the same period, it said.

The reversal came as the US beef output increased and led to the price stabilization, while Australia has suffered from severe drought the last three years, leading to less beef output.

"The price of Australian beef is forecast to continue to increase due to the decreased output," said an E-mart official, noting US beef will unseat Australian beef as the top imported beef overall.

The average price of US beef at E-mart was estimated at 19,800 won ($17.02) per kilogram, compared with Australian beef priced at 22,800 won.

The Korean market share of Australian beef fell to 50.8 percent this year from 56.8 percent last year, while that of US beef rose to 41.1 percent from 35.7 percent.

With imported beef expanding its market share in the country, the self-sufficiency rate of domestic beef fell to 46.2 percent last year, compared with 48.1 percent in 2014. (Yonhap)