U.S. beef re-entry to South Korea delayed

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

U.S. beef imports into South Korea were slated to resume mid of May after a deal was reached to fully open the market to all U.S. beef.

However, on Wednesday the United States Trade Representative Office received reports that Korea would temporarily delay implementing the market access.

The delay came as a complete surprise to National Cattlemen's Beef Association economist Gregg Doud.

Reports indicate that party politics in the South Korean parliament are playing a role in the situation.

South Korea's main opposition party lost control of the assembly in April's elections, but remain in a lame duck session until the new session begins in June.

Guesses as to how long the delay will last range from a few days to several weeks. South Korean Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun told parliament he thought a week to 10 days would be needed.