The Korea Herald


Tariff-free import quotas to be raised for livestock

By 황장진

Published : March 23, 2011 - 18:57

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South Korea, battling outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and bird flu, will increase tariff-free import quotas of breeding pigs, chickens for breeding and seed corn to ease a shortage and stabilize prices.

The government boosted the quotas for breeding pigs to 5,000 from 1,850 head and to 661,000 from 461,000 for breeding chickens, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said Wednesday. The measures will start Thursday and last until the end of the year, statement said.

The Asian nation has culled about 3.5 million animals since late November, mostly pigs and cattle, to contain the spread of foot and mouth disease, the biggest outbreak in the nation’s history. Separately, authorities have destroyed 6.2 million chickens and ducks amid the outbreak of bird flu.

The increases will “help boost supplies of agricultural and livestock commodities, stabilizing local prices,” the ministry said. Prices of agricultural, dairy and fisheries goods increased 17.7 percent in January and inflation has breached the central bank’s target range for two straight months, climbing to 4.5 percent in February from a year earlier.

The quotas for tariff-free seed-corn was increased by 323 metric tons to 570 tons, while the 5-percent tariff quota for soybeans for food processing increased by 141,018 tons to 326,805 tons, the statement said.