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Prices of imported beef jump in September

All Headlines 14:58 October 03, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) -- Prices of imported beef jumped in September as a dip in Australian exports has pushed up global prices and their popularity over more expensive local supply, industry data showed Monday.

The import price of Australian beef ribs was 16,000 won (US$14.5) per kilogram at end-September, up 23-33 percent from a year ago, as seasons of drought affected cattle supply in South Korea's top beef import source, according to industry data.

U.S. beef prices have also risen after China removed a ban on the western country's beef products last month, opening up the trade for the first time since 2003.

The price of U.S. beef, which was traded at 12,000 won per kilogram in mid-September, soared about 25 percent since the news of China's resumption of U.S. beef imports in late September, they noted.

"Prices of Australian and U.S. beef have risen rapidly recently, affected by the long drought in Australia and China's resumption of U.S. beef imports," said an official at E-Mart, the nation's No. 1 discount store chain. "The current trend is expected to last for the time being."

A shopper looks at the beef section of a discount store in Seoul on May 29, 2016. (Yonhap)

The auction price for Korean beef was 18,228 won per kilogram as of Sept. 29, rising about 20 percent from the average price in September 2014, the Korea Institute for Animal Products Quality Evaluation (KAPE) said.

South Korea's beef imports surged to a new record high last year mainly due to a spike in local meat prices, with Korean and import beef taking up 43.6 percent and 56.4 percent of the domestic market, respectively.

Australian beef imports made up 56.6 percent, followed by U.S. products with 41.3 percent, while imports from New Zealand, Canada and Uruguay accounted for the rest, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service (KCS).

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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