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South Korea ends Canadian beef ban

Published by Steve Coleman on January 20, 2012

Cattle producers are feeling bullish about their chances now that South Korea has ended an eight-year ban on Canadian beef.

The return of the last holdout Asian country following the May, 2003 BSE scare could mean $30 million a year in business for cattle producers by 2015, says Canada Beef Inc.

South Korea, at one time Canada's fourth-largest customer, has ended its import restrictions as long as the beef and veal imports are bone free and from animals less than 30 months old. Before the BSE scare, Canada shipped an estimated 17,300 tonnes of beef worth $60 million to the country.

"The entire beef and veal industry is relieved and energized over the Canadian Government's recent announcement confirming the re-opening of beef and veal trade with South Korea," says Brad Wildeman, Chair of Canada Beef Inc. and a feedlot operator from Lanigan, Saskatchewan.

"Unfortunately our industry has been absent from this valued market for over eight years. But together with the government, we remained confident and resilient in our ability to trade once again with South Korea. Today, we are optimistically awaiting a green light to begin shipments - and we will be ready!"

Cattle producers say the market has potential to grow to 14,000 tonnes annually by 2020. That much beef would carry a $65 million price tag.

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