2012년 7월 15일 일요일

S. Korea’s US beef imports remain unaffected by mad cow disease

South Korea’s US beef imports contracted this year, but the import volume gained after a case of mad cow disease was confirmed in April, reported a local news agency Monday. 

The US’s annual beef exports to Korea amounted to 51,128 tons (t) as of the end of May, down 24 percent from a year earlier (67,638 t), according to data compiled by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). 

On a monthly basis, Korea’s beef imports from the US, which had been in decline from January to March, climbed in April and May, showed the data. 

Korea’s imports of the US beef surged 6.6 percent from 11,633 t ($54.86 million) a year earlier to 12,398 t ($60.55 million) in April. In the following month, beef imports gained 5.7 percent from 9,266 t ($44.47 million) to 9,790 t ($47.86 million). 

Controversy on US beef imports was fueled in Korea after the US Department of Agriculture confirmed on April 24 this year that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as the mad cow disease, was found in a dairy cow at a ranch located in central California. The latest data showed that Korean people’s such widespread concern over mad cow disease did not exert significant influences on imports of the US beef.