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Food News Clipping

December 25 - 31, 2020


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Monday, January 4, 2021

For Coverage: December 25 ~  31, 2020

South Korea - U.K. Free Trade Agreement to Take Effect on January 1, 2021

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on December 30 that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between South Korea and United Kingdom, which was signed in August 2020, will take effect on January 1, 2021.  MOTIE said that the FTA will retain preferential duty treatment between the two countries previously provided by the South Korea - European Union Free Trade Agreement.


South Korea Confirms Two Additional Outbreaks of High-Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Total 37 Cases to Date

Summary: The Avian Influenza Management Center under the Korean government reported on December 30 that two additional poultry farms in the country (one in Gimpo city and the other in Goksung county) tested positive for high-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).  The number of local farms that had HPAI outbreaks this year increased to 37 as a result.


Retail Sales Decline Two Months in a Row in October and November due to Stronger Social Distancing Restrictions

Summary: The Korea National Statistics Office (NSO) reported that its retail industry sales index was at 114.1 in November, down 0.9 percent from the previous month.  The index fell 1.0 percent in October.  NSO explained that stronger social distancing regulations resulted in weak retail sales during the months.


MFDS Allows 'Functionality Claims' on Regular Processed Foods from December 29

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) announced on December 29 that ithas implemented thenew 'Functional Labeling Standards for Regular Foods.  MFDS explained that the new standards will allow regular foods incorporating 29 functional ingredients recognized by MFDS (including ginseng, propolis, and DHA) to claim health benefits on the label. Functionality claims have so far only been allowed on functional foods registered and approved by MFDS.  MFDS said that the new standards will help the food industry to expand business while providing more options to consumers. 


Price of Chicken Meat and Eggs Remain Stable Despite AI Outbreaks

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) reported on December 28 that the consumer price of eggs increased 2.4 percent since the first outbreak of avian influenza (AI) inalocal poultry farms on November 26, 2020.  MAFRA said that the price increase was largely due to increased consumer demandduringstronger government social distancing regulations and increased home dining.  MAFRA added that only 0.4 percent of layer chickensin Korea weredepopulated since the AI outbreaks. The consumer price of chicken meat declined 7.5 percent during the period as retailers staged year-end sales promotions.  MAFRA explained that the number of broiler chickensin local farms was still 4.4 percent larger than regular years despite some depopulation of birds since the AI outbreaks.  On the other hand, consumer price of duck meat increased 10.1 percent during the period as the number of ducks in local farms was 14.3 percent lower than regular after depopulation.


Baemin’s System Went Down for4 Hourson Christmas Eve due to Surging Delivery Orders

Summary: Baemin, the leading on-line restaurant meal delivery service in South Korea, reported that its system was down for 4 hours on Christmas eve as the number of consumers accessing its on-line site for home delivery orders went above the system’scapacity.  Baemin said it will provide appropriate compensations to the client restaurants and delivery crews for the losses.


ROKG Confirms 30thAI Outbreaks in Local Poultry Farms

Summary: The Avian Influenza Management Center under the Korean government reported on December 28 that a chicken farm in Junbuk province tested positive for high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).  It was the 30thcase of avian influenza outbreak inalocal poultry farms this year.


On-line Shopping Up 60 Percent This Year Through October

Summary: The Korea National Statistics Office (NSO) reported on December 28 that sales of food products in the on-line retail industry amounted to 34.6 trillion won ($31.4 billion USD) this year through October, up 60.3 percent from the same period last year.


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Agricultural Trade Office, U.S. Embassy - Seoul
Tel: 82-2-6951-6848 Fax: 82-2-720-7921