South Korea

South Korea imported more pork in Q1 2018

Pork

South Korea has increased its fresh/frozen pork imports by 15% in the first three months of 2018 compared to the similar period from 2017, reaching a total of 147,000 tons, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board's (AHDB) latest analysis.

Posted on May 09 ,11:56

South Korea imported more pork in Q1 2018

Bethan Wilkins, an analyst at AHDB, says that "it was primarily the US that capitalized on increasing South Korean demand." The pork exports from the US were 50,400 tons, or over a third higher than year-earlier levels.

The EU reported an increase in its pork exports to South Korea of 8% in the same period. This resulted, according to Wilkins, in a drop by four percentage points of the market share for the EU shipments. Wilkins says that at 75,500 tons, the EU pork accounts for over a half of South Korea's total pork imports.

The value of the country's pork import market was 483bn SK Won ($447.4 million) in the first quarter of 2018, increasing by 5% compared to year-earlier levels.

"However, while the value of US shipments was 30% higher, a 12% decline in the average price of EU shipments meant the total value of these imports was back 5%," added Wilkins.

The popularity of pork continues to increase in South Korea, and the latest USDA forecasts anticipate that domestic consumption could increase around 2% (+33,000 tonnes cwe) this year. However, domestic production is also expected to rise 3% (+38,000 tonnes cwe), reflecting expansion in the pig herd recorded during 2017.

Based on USDA's figures, Wilkins says that pork imports to South Korea are expected to decline this year, especially due to the fact that the local population prefers domestic pork over imported pork.

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