Australian beef exports to Korea highest on record

17 September 2015

Korean demand for Australian beef continues to strengthen this year, with export volumes to the market for the for the first eight months of this year increasing 8% year-on-year, to 105,845 tonnes swt - the highest recorded for the period.

High beef production in Australia (coupled with low A$), tight US supply into Korea, and ongoing demand for quality Australian products from Korean consumers, have been the underlying factors behind the increase in Australian beef shipments to Korea.

Additionally, lower beef import tariffs are providing some relief to Korean buyers, while the rate for Australian beef is not yet as favourable as the US product. Under the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), the tariff for Australian beef is currently set at 34.7% (reduced from 40% before the agreement), although US beef is imported at the 29.36% under KORUSFTA (Korea-US FTA), which entered into force earlier than the KAFTA.

Nevertheless, Australian beef exports to Korea are heading towards another record breaking year in 2015, if current market momentum remains. Besides being the third largest export destination in both volume and value for Australian beef exports, Korea is the second largest market of grainfed beef for Australia, consistently taking about 15% of total grainfed exports.


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