SK Cattle Battle with Feed Prices and US

SOUTH KOREA - Korean cattle farmers are in agony in North Kyongsang Province over the soaring cost of feed and declining cattle prices following the resumption of US beef imports.
calendar icon 29 July 2008
clock icon 1 minute read
They are calling for the government to devise measures to lower feed prices while working out how to survive the price hikes.

"I raise some 120 heads of beef cattle. It is getting beyond my capacity to feed them as prices have risen too much and cattle prices are falling," said Chung Sang-yeon, 57, a stock farmer in Sangju.

Chung usually spends around 2.5 million won ($2,457) on buying and raising a six-month-old calf for about 30 months. That figure includes 2 million won for five tons of grain feed (400 won per kilogram) and 500,000 won to 550,000 won for two tons of rice straw (250 won to 270 won per kilogram).

Given the purchase price of a calf is estimated at around 2 million won, the total cost comes to 4.5 million won. However, a calf currently fetches below 4 million won in the market, meaning Chung is doomed to suffer a loss.

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