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Falling number of Korean cattle raises price worries

All Headlines 15:46 April 08, 2016

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- The number of Korean-bred cattle is continuing to fall, adding to speculation that the prices of prized local beef, known as hanwoo, will keep soaring, showed data released Friday.

A total of 2.6 million head of hanwoo cattle were being raised on domestic farms in the first quarter, down 63,000, or 2.4 percent, from the same period last year, according to Statistics Korea.

It marks a 3-percent decline from the previous quarter.

The number of Korean cattle stood at 2.93 million in 2012 but fell to 2.8 million in 2013, 2.67 million in 2014 and 2.56 million last year.

The falling numbers have caused many to expect that the prices of local beef will rise further.

The Korea Rural Economic Institute said the average price is likely to jump 2.5 percent this year from 2015.

It climbed 14 percent last year from 14,000 won (US$12) per kilogram in 2014.

On the other hand, the prices of pork and poultry meat are projected to go down.

The number of pigs rose 3.4 percent on year to 10 million during the January-March period. That of poultry totaled 86.5 million, up 4.6 percent from a year earlier.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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