South Korean pig meat imports rise

Imports of pig meat by South Korea turned a corner in Q3, according to AHDB analyst Duncan Wyatt, who reported that despite starting 2021 with year-on-year declines, in Q4, pig meat import volumes in the country recovered to 122,000 tonnes, 25% higher year-on-year, and by the end of 2021, full-year imports stood at 465,000 tonnes – 3% higher than in 2020.

Chart showing pig meat imports to South Korea

The South Korean import market fell after the loss of market access for German exporters, after the Asian countrybanned product in the light of Germany’s African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. The subsequent increase in exports from other EU nations, as prices fell across the bloc, also increased competitiveness.

Noteably, UK exporters have been increasing shipments to South Korea, from a modest 1,000 tonnes in 2020, to more than four times that in 2021. This is still only around 1% of total imports.

Mr Wyatt commented: “The USDA is forecasting a recovery in demand from South Korea in 2022, although at the moment the country is in the throes of the omicron coronavirus wave, with strict social distancing measures in place. Domestic pork production is expected to be stable or fall this year, which means import demand is expected to rise.”


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