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U.S. Exports The Most Beef To South Korea

The United States has reclaimed the title of top beef exporter to South Korea last year.

The change comes 14 years after a U.S. outbreak of a cattle disease that led to a ban, handing the number one spot to Australia.

Last month U.S. beef shipments jumped 13.7 percent, to 177,400 thousand metric tons, about half of all South Korean beef imports.

South Korea is the sixth largest market for U.S. exports and under its trade agreement with the U.S., it is phasing out tariffs, except for rice.

A great example of that trade is beef, and the KORUS agreement has helped a lot. This year, U.S. beef will have a 21.3 percent tariff to Australian beef's 26.6 percent.

Jason Hafemeister with the Foreign Agriculture Service says, "Without the agreement, we face a 40 percent tariff on U.S. beef exports to Korea. They're going to phase that down over time. Korea's already a billion dollar beef market for us. So we just see a lot of opportunity to grow that market under the agreement."

Beef is a big part of the Korean diet, the country is the world's fourth biggest beef importer.