(IARN) — United States beef exports to South Korea recorded another chart-topping performance in 2019, with export value reaching $1.84 billion. Meat industry experts anticipate this momentum to continue well into 2020.
Jihae Yang, U.S. Meat Export Federation Korea director, says United States beef exports are poised to excel in the Korean market.
“Korea is a beef-loving country. Domestic supply is consistent and U.S. beef is taking more shares to meet the growing demand. The high marbled, high quality beef, including the branded beef is appealing to the Korean people,” Yang said.
United States beef exports to South Korea continue to grow under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, also known as KORUS. Lower tariff rates offer more affordable products to Korean consumers.
“The U.S. beef tariff is now 16-percent, coming down from 40-percent. That is a significant benefit for importers of U.S. beef, as well as Korean consumers,” Yang said. “We are still enjoying the tariff difference from other competitors, (which) made our customers become more reliant for U.S. beef.”
Yang also points out inconsistencies in the Australian beef supply, which diverts Korean retailers to the United States beef supply. The opportunities abound, according to Yang.
“U.S. beef is the perfect fit for the home meal replacement product, including the meal kit box, which is fresh and premium for Korean consumers. U.S. beef is now widely used in various types of home meal replacement (products) including Chinese, Korean and American style cuisines. Another growing sector is craft burgers and steaks in the food service sector,” Yang said.
Story and photo courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.