Korea forced to import more pork than ever last year

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Korea forced to import more pork than ever last year

Korea’s self-sufficiency rate of pork dropped to the lowest point ever last year due to massive culling of pigs in the wake of foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease outbreaks, government data showed yesterday.

The self-sufficiency ratio of the meat stood at 60.3 percent at the end of last year, down 20.6 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the data provided by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The sharp decline comes as Korea suffered a widespread outbreak of FMD, which hit the nation’s livestock farmers hard from November 2010 to April of last year.

About 3.3 million pigs were culled nationwide due to the disease.

The massive culling led to more imports of pork throughout the year, causing the country’s self-sufficiency rate to drop to the lowest level in history, the ministry said.

Korea produced 569,000 tons of pork last year, down 192,000 tons from a year earlier.

Pork imports, meanwhile, more than doubled to 374,000 tons over the same period.

Self-sufficiency ratios of beef and chicken also dropped to their lowest levels since 2003. Their ratios stood at 42.8 percent and 77.4 percent, respectively, the data showed.

The decline is attributable to their increased imports to satisfy more demand from consumers who sought to purchase beef and chicken rather than pork products.


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