WELLINGTON, N.Z. — Despite the re-entry of U.S. beef in 2007, New Zealand beef continues to retain its share of the imported beef market in South Korea, according to Mike Petersen, Meat & Wool New Zealand chairman. Mr. Petersen, who recently returned from the International Business Forum Korea New Zealand Business Roundtable meeting in Seoul, said New Zealand beef continues to hold its own with volumes of around 38,000 tonnes worth $115 million last year.

"New Zealand imported beef has retained its market share of around 19% of the imported-beef market with the increase in American supplies coming at the expense of Australian beef," he said. "It’s encouraging to see that our volumes are continuing to hold up in this very competitive environment."

South Korea is New Zealand’s second-largest beef export market and Meat & Wool New Zealand and the New Zealand meat industry has focused on programs to promote the safe and healthy attributes of grass-fed beef to Korean consumers.

"New Zealand grass-fed beef is unique in the Korean market compared to other imported beef, and therefore it is important we promote this point of difference to Korean consumers," Mr. Petersen said. "However there are challenges around continuity of supply that we will need to be addressed if we are to continue our growth in this important market."