Daily Archives: January 16, 2006

U.S. beef starts to trickle into wary Japan market

U.S. beef starts to trickle into wary Japan market
TOKYO, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Most Japanese store shelves are still empty of North American beef as only limited volumes have reached the country one month after it ended a two-year ban and agreed to resume buying the meat.
The United States had been one of the top beef suppliers to Japan until Tokyo imposed a ban following the discovery of a U.S. case of mad cow disease in December 2003, halting annual trade worth about $1.4 billion.
Japan’s retailers and food industry have been slow to respond to the trade resumption announced on Dec. 12, saying they wished to gauge the response of the country’s fastidious consumers — whose reaction so far has been cautious.
The view of Yoko Kasahara, a working mother with three sons, is shared by many.
“I won’t be buying U.S. beef because I’m very worried about the U.S. system,” said the 47-year-old Kasahara as she stepped out of a supermarket in central Tokyo.

Exports to South Korea expected to begin in March

Exports to South Korea expected to begin in March

by Pete Hisey

on 1/16/2006 for Meatingplace.com

The negotiations in Seoul between Chuck Lambert, deputy undersecretary of marketing for USDA, and Park Hyun-Chool, director general of the South Korean Agriculture Ministry’s livestock bureau ,bore partial fruit when the two agreed that boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age would be allowed on Korean shelves, probably by late March.However, the Korean delegation refused to budge on the issue of bone-in product, which includes the beef ribs Korean consumers covet, and which made up about two-thirds of trade prior to the market closing in December 2003. Variety meats, which accounted for another 14 percent of sales, will also remain banned unless the United States can change Seoul’s mind.”Today’s announcement that South Korea is ready to again open to U.S. beef should be a signal to South Korean consumers that they can be confident in our products,” said Philip Seng, chief executive of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, who called the agreement “an important first step.”A new verification program is part of the agreement, and it may take significant time to finalize the program, leading to the March estimate.