SEOUL — In the aftermath of two consecutive months of decline, South Korea's U.S. beef imports are increasing again, according to South Korea's Korea Herald.

The import volume of U.S. beef in January totaled 5,054 metric tons, which is 2.5% higher than December's 4,933 tons, according to Korea Agriculture Trade Information. Shipments in January were form orders placed in November and December.

"Korea is a market that became somewhat overstocked during the fall months," Joe Schuele, U.S. Meat Export Federation spokesman, told MEATPOULTRY.com. "Importers were excited to have U.S. beef back in the market and consumer interest was solid, but retail outlets carrying U.S. beef were still limited. Having larger retailers on board again helps us work through that inventory, so we would expect to see the volume of new shipments rebound.

"As for the longer-term outlook, we feel Korea is an exceptional market for both U.S. beef and pork, even though activity is hampered somewhat right now by Korea's slumping currency and sluggish economy," he added.

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