Importers Expect Flood of U.S. Beef in June

SOUTH KOREA - Imports of U.S. beef will resume in earnest this week, ending a stoppage of nearly three and a half years, and retailers expect local consumers will be able to buy the beef in shops from as early as next month.
calendar icon 7 May 2007
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Local beef importer Nerp said on Monday that it plans to bring in a shipment of 20 tons of U.S. beef, following an initial shipment of 6.4 tons last month, which will be distributed to wholesalers. The new order will be shipped by sea and will hit the market around mid-June.

U.S. beef exporters Swift & Co. and the National Beef Packing Co. reached an agreement with Korean importers to ship by sea more than 100 tons of beef this month, and another three or four companies are also working on beef shipment deals.

Importers expect an average 5,000 tons of U.S. beef to arrive in Korea a month, which is 24 percent of Korea's average monthly beef imports of 20,827 tons.

Since it takes about 15 days to ship and 10 days to inspect, the flood of meat should begin to hit Korea next month. Once the U.S. meat begins to arrive in earnest, prices of Korean and Australian beef are expected to drop.

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