U.S. accounts for 53% of beef imported to Korea

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U.S. accounts for 53% of beef imported to Korea

The United States accounted for more than half of the beef imported to Korea last year, data showed Monday, widening the gap with its top rival, Australia.

Korea imported 235,716 tons of U.S. beef in 2019, 53 percent of its total beef imports, according to data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

It was the third consecutive year U.S. beef took the top spot in the Korean market. U.S. beef accounted for 50.7 percent and 46.8 percent of the import market in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

Australia followed with 40 percent, down 5.5 percentage points from two years earlier, the data also showed. New Zealand took the third spot with 3.6 percent.

The federation attributed American beef’s strong demand in Korea to the rising popularity of the home meal replacement market.

“U.S. beef is leading the trend towards premium high quality meats, and is popular among Korean consumers thanks to its affordability,” the federation said in a statement.

“The home meal replacement and meal kit markets continue to grow due to the rise of online shopping and the emergence of millennials who enjoy cooking high quality steaks at home,” it added.

In 2008, Korea resumed U.S. beef imports following the mad cow disease crisis.

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