South Korea Lifts Tariffs On Chilled Pork Imports

SEOUL/REUTERS

South Korea, battling to curb inflation while recovering from its worst outbreak of foot-and- mouth, will impose zero tariffs on all imports of chilled pork for food processing through Sept. 30, the Finance Ministry said in a statement Aug. 2.

The move was “to ease tight supplies of raw pork due to foot-and-mouth,” the ministry statement said.

It is seen taking effect later this week, a Finance Ministry official told Reuters by phone.

The government previously said it would allow a combined 260,000 tonnes of frozen and chilled pork to be imported tariff free this year. Imports of chilled pork for processing above that amount are subject to a 22.5 per cent tariff.

South Korea last year imported 4,655 tonnes of chilled pork for food processing, the ministry statement noted.

The government will also eliminate tariffs on all imports of bananas, pineapples, cabbages and radishes through the end of September, the statement said.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy was hit with a foot-and-mouth outbreak late last year, which led to a third of the country’s hog population being culled to contain the disease and a jump in meat prices. The government estimated the outbreak cost it nearly three trillion won ($2.86 billion).

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