South Korea's pork imports up in 2018 due to rise in consumption
South Korea is one of the markets with the fastest growing pork consumption in the world. Last year, the Asian country imported 571,000 tonnes of fresh/froze pork, increasing its shipments by 17% compared to 2017 levels, according to the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
Tom Forshaw, analyst at AHDB, said that the European Union remained South Korea's largest trading market, with 50% market share by volume in 2018. Pork deliveries from the EU were up 11% (+30,000 tonnes) to total 288,000 tonnes for the year. EU-28 shipments are dominated by Spanish and German product, making up over 67% of EU-28 exports to South Korea.
The US increase its fresh/frozen pork shipments to South Korea by 28% in 2018, totaling 196,000 tonnes. Forshaw said that the increase in shipments is as a result of the US-China trade war, "which has significantly hampered the competitiveness of US product on the Chinese market".
For 2019, Forshaw expects South Korea to import less pork as reports indicate that the large volume of imported product in 2018 has contributed to stock building. Meanwhile, on the long term, the AHDB analyst said that based on South Korea's increasing consumption of pork, the country's imports will continue to grow to meet the demand.
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