South Korean pork imports increase sharply
In the first quarter of 2015, imports of pork to South Korea increased by nearly a third compared to 2014.
In the first quarter of 2015, imports of pork to South Korea increased by nearly a third compared to 2014, as the effects of PEDV and FMD outbreaks in the country continue to reduce domestic production, increasing its import demand. However, imports remains behind levels seen in 2012, when domestic production was affected by a major FMD outbreak. Shipments from all major suppliers increased, with the US remaining the largest exporter of pork to a South Korea, accounting for 29% of all shipments. Bigger gains were seen from the EU, with shipments increasing by two thirds as supplies in the EU remain high and competitively priced, due to the Russian ban and the weak euro. This was driven by large increases in volumes from Germany and Spain, up by 77% and 200% respectively, which led to the EU’s market share increasing to 54% from 43% in 2014. The average unit value of imports also increased in the first three months of the year, leading to total value of imports to be up 50% at ₩403 billion.
Pig offal imports also increased in the first quarter, up 10% at 5,500 tonnes, back to similar levels seen in 2013. Over half of imports came from the EU, with shipments from the EU increasing 13% year on year, again driven by large increases from Spain and Germany. The US remained the largest individual country supplier of offal to South Korea, with volumes increasing 8% compared to the previous year. The total value of offal imports amounted to ₩15.9 billion, up 10% from the year before.