Korea is Australia’s third largest beef market by volume. The Korean market liberalised on 1 January 2001. With liberalisation, the quota system was changed to a tariff-based import regime. Current tariffs for Australia are 40% for fresh and frozen beef and 72% for value added beef products.
Timeline of impacting events for the Korean beef market
Australian beef and veal exports to Korea in 2012 totalled 125,956 tonnes swt – down 14% on 2011, but up 1% on 2010 volumes (DAFF). The solid export volumes to Korea last year were assisted by strong demand in the last three months of 2012, making up 35% of total annual exports.
Austalian beef exports to Korea summary - April 2013
The annual Korean beef import volume for 2012 totalled 264,375 tonnes swt, down14% on 2011 (Korea International Trade Association – KITA). The annual decline was largely due to a sluggish economy and increased competition from both US and domestic product.
Domestic beef supplies during 2012 were estimated to be 8% above 2011, at 234,000 tonnes (boneless equivalent), with the domestic beef volumes anticipated to reach a record 253,000 tonnes in 2013. Despite the increase in domestic beef, total beef supply during 2012 in Korea was estimated to be 3% below 2011, at 488,000 tonnes, due to a smaller imported beef supply in 2012.
Meat & Livestock Australia expects Korean beef demand to continue to expand over coming years, driven principally by income growth and modernisation of diets. The IMF is projecting a 20% rise in Korean GDP per capita over the coming five years, with the potential for beef consumption to grow by around 100,000 tonnes cwt in the 2011-2016 period, providing there was to be no appreciable rise in beef prices.
For the full red Meat Market Report: Korean beef market profile and outlook