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US Beef Ribs Ready for Korean Consumption

08 August 2008
Meat & Livestock Australia

SOUTH KOREA - The 1.5 tonnes of US bone-in beef imported in Korea on 29 July have cleared quarantine inspections and will be available to consumers through retail outlets within a week. It has been four years and seven months since consumers in Korea were able to purchase US bone-in cuts, according to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.

The National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS) said 1.35 tonnes of short ribs, chuck ribs, rib finger intercostals and flanks have been issued inspection-cleared permits (Yahoo Asia News). The total imports that received quarantine certificates included 400 kilograms of US ribs (KBS).

Reportedly, Korean meat importers sold out of ribs in advance. Among those who ordered the ribs were government agencies and the US embassy in Seoul. The Korean company NERP (the importer of bone-in beef), has stated that the beef will be distributed among eight to 10 retailers in Seoul, Daejon and Ulsan. The bone-in US beef will likely be sold to retailers at a price between 18,000 won/kg (A$19.30) and 19,000 won/kg (A$20.40) (JoongAng Daily). NERP has also stated that it will list the names of all retailers that received US beef ribs on the website www.meatinside.co.kr.

Since May, there have been massive consumer demonstrations in Korea in response to the return of US beef. On 5 August, President Bush visited Korea before his attendance at the Beijing Olympic Games resulting in a large number of Korean beef demonstrators starting rallies again. Reportedly, 2,700 consumers participated in a candlelight rally on Tuesday evening in the city centre of Seoul – organisers of the rally estimated the crowd at 10,000 (Yonhap).

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