South Korea is expected to import about 30,000 metric tons of U.S. beef this year and may double that amount in 2008. The country’s pork imports, however, don’t share the same good outlook. According to a report from USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service office in Seoul, South Korean beef imports from all sources would reach 280,000 metric tons in 2007 and 300,000 metric tons in 2008.
Several beef shipments have been denied this year for containing banned bone parts. The import forecasts do not include bone-in beef which is currently banned. There are currently 18 Korean retailers selling U.S. beef, including major discount stores.
It’s the opposite for pork. The report forecast a decline in South Korea pork imports next year. It put 2008 pork imports from all sources at 350,000 metric tons, down from an expected 400,000 metric tons in 2007. It forecast pork imports from the U.S. at 97,000 metric tons in 2008, down from an expected 120,000 metric tons this year.