Govt to Check Odd Beef Prices Amid Industry Doldrums

SOUTH KOREA - The South Korean government is set to look into a widening price gap between the wholesale and retail prices of local beef, officials said Thursday, as it is feared to further hurt the industry and consumer spending already daunted by the new anti-graft law.
calendar icon 16 February 2017
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The producer price of Korean beef, known as hanwoo, stood at 45,252 won ($39.80) per kilogram as of Tuesday, down 26.7 per cent from four months earlier, according to the government's livestock data.

Such a drop, however, has barely affected its price at supermarkets, as the retail price managed to slide 1.6 per cent to 78,697 won in the same period.

"We plan to find out reasons why the consumer price isn't coming down as opposed to how its wholesale value's been falling since the anti-graft law came into effect," an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

The new anti-corruption law, in effect from September last year, is being blamed by the local livestock industry for hindering their business as it has put a legal limit on money people in certain professions can spend on gifts and free meals for hospitality purposes.

Hanwoo, for its high quality and price, is considered a very expensive gift and served as a main dish on special occasions.

Source: The Korea Herald

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