South Korea’s foot-and-mouth disease crisis has stretched well into its third month, taking a severe toll on Korea’s domestic swine herd and creating a huge spike in pork prices. To help ensure an adequate supply of pork and alleviate soaring prices in the meat case, Korea’s government has announced a tariff relief measure on 60,000 metric tons of imported pork.
Pork imported into Korea from most foreign suppliers is subject to a 25 percent duty. But between now and June 30, duty-free access will be granted for a 50,000 metric ton tariff rate quota (TRQ) of frozen pork products intended primarily for further processing. A separate, 10,000 metric ton TRQ has also been established specifically for frozen pork belly.
U.S. Meat Export Federation Senior Vice President Dan Halstrom explains that establishment of these duty-free TRQs is a constructive move on the part of the Korean government, because it will help Korea’s processors obtain badly needed supplies of pork and provide price relief for consumers. While the TRQs are open to pork from many different origins, Halstrom says the U.S. pork industry is well-positioned to benefit because it is Korea’s largest supplier of imported pork.