EU pork imports are increasing in the Korean market as the country's retailers take advantage of the temporary reduction in pork tariffs implemented by the Korean government to alleviate a chronic shortage of pork bellies.
The recent implementation of the Korea-European Union free trade agreement has also provided incentive for the increased imports, according to reports. Korea's pork prices spiked after the country experienced a shortage due to an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease; cheaper imports have helped to offset those costs. The market share of pork bellies, which are very popular in Korea, have seen an 880% increase over last year, according to local retailers. Overall, said the Korea Meat Trade Association, 75,709 tons of pork belly was imported in the first half of 2011, a 32.5% rise from the same period in 2010.