SOUTH KOREA - Sales of imported beef are rising steeply in South Korea as the country has been struggling with foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza, industry data showed Sunday.
According to the data by leading retail chain E-Mart, imported beef sales rose 12 per cent during the 5-9 February period from a week ago, while those of Korean beef tumbled 19.6 per cent.
The decline came as the fifth foot-and-mouth disease outbreak was confirmed earlier in the day following the first infection on 5 February. Nearly 800 cows have been culled in the past week.
The South Korean government raised the watch level to the highest vigilance in the country's disease control system Thursday, temporarily closing all livestock trading markets across the nation.
Sales of imported pork also jumped 16.9 per cent over the same period, outpacing those of locally produced pork, which gained 5.7 per cent.
"The supply of beef is not yet at risk, but the prices can go up if the situation gets worse," said an official from a discount store.
Source: The Korea Herald
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