Korea's imports of U.S. beef skyrockets 48% this year
Imports of foreign beef are expected to further rise after the anti-graft law took effect in September this year, which limits spending on gifts.
Boxed sets of domestic beef, known as "hanwoo" have been popular gifts for the traditional holiday seasons, but their high prices make people hesitant to give such gifts under the law.
Instead, people tend to buy less expensive imported beef.
According to the data by the Korea Customs Service and the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the country's total beef imports rose 28.4 percent on year to 320,219 tons in the first 10 months of this year.
For the 10-month period, imports of U.S. beef surged 47.6 percent on year to 131,466 tons.
By comparison, imports of Australian beef rose 14.9 percent on year to 162,794 tons during the January-October period.
During the November 11-17 period, imports of U.S. beef stood at 5,230 tons, marking the highest weekly volume of imports since 2011.
In October, U.S. beef overtook Australian beef as the top imported beef in terms of quarantine-cleared import volume.
If the trend continues, U.S. beef would unseat Australian beef as the top imported beef overall. ■