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Korea’s Demand for U.S. Beef


John Giamalva


This paper uses a price-adjusted index of demand to estimate the change in Korean consumers’ demand for U.S. beef from 2003 through 2011. The paper provides an overview of Korea’s consumption, production, and imports of beef over this period, which included Korea’s ban on imports of U.S. beef following discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. cattle herd in December 2003, the signing of the U.S.-Korea Beef Protocol in April 2008, and the subsequent recovery of U.S. beef imports. The paper also includes background information on BSE and Korean consumers’ perceptions of the safety of U.S. beef. Korean demand for U.S. beef is estimated to have increased substantially since 2009 (the first full year after signing of the Beef Protocol), but in 2011 remained well below the level observed in 2003.