International Egg and Poultry Review: South Korea

SOUTH KOREA - This is a weekly report by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry. This week's review looks at the poultry situation in South Korea.
calendar icon 28 September 2011
clock icon 4 minute read


Despite outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), high feed costs, and high farm gate prices, broiler meat production forecasts for Korea have been revised higher. Between December 2010 and May 2011 Korea culled about one million birds due to HPAI, comprising about one percent of Korea’s broiler industry. As of June 2011, Korea’s broiler industry reached a record 110 million birds. Production is projected at 686,000 metric tons (MT) in 2011 and 720,000 MT in 2012.


Broiler meat consumption has been forecast at 775,000 MT in 2011 and a record 798,000 MT in 2012 (+3 per cent). Consumption of broiler meat is expected to increase more than originally forecast due to: a shortage of domestic pork resulting from FMD outbreaks, its competitive pricing in comparison to other meats, an increase in more health-conscious consumers, and fears of radiation contamination surrounding fish after Japan’s March 2011 earthquake (9.0), tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. Recurring HAPI outbreaks have had little impact on broiler meat consumption, due to past successful education and marketing campaigns. New origin labeling at fast food restaurants has improved demand for domestic meats. In 2011, 35 per cent of total chicken consumption was comprised of cuts with the remainder in whole bird form. This increased preference for chicken cuts is expected to continue.


From January-June 2011, Korea imported 46 per cent more chicken (73,381 MT) than a year ago, due to limited pork supplies and the implementation of a 50,000 MT zero-duty Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) in May 2011 effective through December 31, 2011 for chicken products under HS020712 and HS020714. However imports will slow down in the second half of 2011 and estimates have been reduced to 100,000 MT for 2011. Korea is predicted to import 10 per cent less chicken meat in 2012 (90,000 MT), due to increased local production. The US is expected to ship 62,000 MT in 2011 and 55,000 MT in 2012. Korea’s primary chicken meat suppliers are the US (leg quarters), Brazil (wings and breast meat), Thailand (heat-treated and processed product), China (heat-treated and processed product), and Denmark (wings). However imports from Denmark could increase due to its slight price advantage (18.5 per cent duty) after the recent free trade agreement (FTA) between Korea and the EU July 2011.

Broiler Imports to South Korea by Cut (MT)
Note: Note 2011* data is from January-June, whereas data for 2010 is January-December. Source: USDA FAS/Korea Customs Service (KCS)

Conversely, Korean exports are expected to remain steady in 2011 at 11,000 MT and rise in 2012 to 12,000 MT. Korea typically ships about 10,000 MT of spent hen meat to Viet Nam and about 2,000 to 3,000 MT of processed meat to Japan.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.
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