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S. Korea to seek tariff-rate quota on pork, mackerel

By Yonhap

Published : May 26, 2023 - 09:28

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A shopper chooses meat products at a supermarket in Seoul on May 18. (Yonhap) A shopper chooses meat products at a supermarket in Seoul on May 18. (Yonhap)

SEJONG -- South Korea plans to adopt tariff-rate quotas on imports of pork and mackerel in the near future in line with efforts to tame rising foodstuffs prices amid prolonged inflation, a senior official said Friday.

The tariff-rate quota is a system under which products are imported with favorable duty conditions within a designated volume. The amount imported beyond the limit is applied with higher tariffs.

"As there are price instabilities in some agriculture, livestock, and fishery products that are directly connected with perceived inflation, we plan to roll out customized measures and seek to stabilize the prices," First Vice Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun said during a meeting.

To this end, the government said it plans to apply tariff-rate quotas on 45,000 tons of pork and 10,000 tons of mackerel, which could face supply shortages in the second half.

The local price of pork rose 4.2 percent on-year in April, with that of mackerel jumping 13.5 percent, the ministry data showed.

The government will also make efforts to roll out promotions for beef products, which have been hit by the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease here.

FMD affects cloven-hoofed animals, including pigs, sheep and deer. It is one of the most infectious diseases for livestock and can spread rapidly.

"We will also seek to adopt a tariff-rate quota on sugar products, which experienced global price hikes, to ease burdens of the industry," Bang added.

Bang added uncertainties linger for the South Korean economy amid the prolonged slump of the chip sector and a delayed spillover from the reopening of the Chinese economy.

"The government will further bolster its efforts to revamp regulations, support exports, and investment to revitalize the economy and stabilize the prices," he said. (Yonhap)