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Food News Clipping

October 31 - November 2, 2023


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues 

Today's Date: Friday,  November 3,  2023

For Coverage:  October 31 ~  November 2, 2023


South Korea’s Inflation Grows Faster, Stays Over 3 Percent for Third Month in October 

Summary:  In October, South Korea’s Inflation great at a pace of over 3% due to higher prices for energy and farm goods.  In October, the prices of daily necessities, which includes over 144 products related to daily life such as food, clothing, and housing, climbed 4.6 percent compared to October 2022.  Livestock and fishery products were reported to have increased 7.3 percent in October 2023 and vegetable prices grew 13.5 percent, which was the highest increase in over 2 years.  The Bank of Korea expects inflation to remain at a rate of over 3% through the end of the year, as the easing of inflation is expected to slow down due to the ongoing issues in the Middle East, weather conditions, and other factors. 
About Half of Cattle Receive Vaccines to Fight Lumpy Skin Disease Outbreak 
Summary:  Since October 20, South Korea has 74 confirmed cases of Lumpy Skin Disease, in the country’s first ever outbreak of the disease.  In an effort to stop the spread of the outbreak, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) aims to inoculate all cattle by November 10.  As of November 2, all vaccines have been distributed and about half the cattle population in the country have been vaccinated.   
South Korea Proposes Trade Promotion Agreement to Ireland 
Summary:  South Korea, looking to expand the scope of its bilateral exchanges, has proposed a Trade Promotion Agreement with Ireland.  On the margins the Irish Prime Ministers visit to South Korea, Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun met with his Irish counterpart and expressed his desire to establish a Trade and Investment Partnership Framework (TIPF) agreement to enhance economic ties and facilitate cooperative exchanges between the countries. 
South Korea, Georgia Launch Negotiations for Economic Partnership 
Summary:  On November 2, South Korea’s Trade Ministry announced the agreement with Georgia to officially start trade negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership on trade and supply chains.  The first round of negotiations is expected in the first quarter of 2024. 
To Stabilize the Supply and Demand of Kimchi Ingredients, 21,000 Tons of Stockpiles of Cabbage, Radish, and Red Pepper Powder was Supplied 
Summary:  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Startups jointly prepared a plan to stabilize the supply and demand for Kimchi ingredients.  A survey done by the Korean Rural Economic Institute shows that the proportion of people who planned to make Kimchi at home was around 63.3%, a 1.8 percentage point decrease from last year, signaling a decrease in demand for kimchi ingredients.  In Korea, there is a unique culture of family and friends coming together to make Kimchi during the late autumn months, and in order to encourage maintaining this tradition, the Government is working to easy the burden of purchasing ingredients by stabilizing the supply to lower the cost for consumers. 
Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Requests Cooperation in Early Supply of Chicken and Pork Tariff Quota 
Summary:  On November 2, MAFRA held a meeting with major chicken and pork importers who have tariff rate quota access (12 companies) as well as organizations such as the Livestock Product Quality Evaluation Institute and the Korea Meat Processing Association.  MAFRA announced that in order to ease the price burden of these products on consumers and other Korean buyers in the food sector, it will open access to the quotas earlier this year and asked the importers and associations to cooperate with them on these efforts to ease consumer pricing. 
If Organic Processed Food is Certified in Korea, it can be Labeled as “Organic” in Canada as well 
Summary:  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) announced it signed an organic equivalency agreement for processed foods with Canada on October 31.  The agreement took effect on November 1.  The scope of the Organic Processed Food Equivalence Agreement with Canada is similar to that of the agreements Korea has with the United States and Canada.  Under the agreement, Korean products in Canada, if certified as organic in Korea, can use both the Canadian organic label and/or the Korean organic label.  MAFRA expects this will help increase the sales of Korean organic processed food to Canada. 
Hyundai Oilbank Renews Push for Biofuel Business 
Summary:  As part of its push to increase its biofuels business, Hyundai Oilbank signed two agreements to secure around 80,000 tons annual of palm fatty acid distillates.  This will help stabilize the supply chain for its biodiesel plant, which has a capacity of 130,000 tons annually, that is set to open by the end of this year.  The agreements are both with Korean firms operating in the palm industry in Indonesia.  Hyundai has identified biofuel as a new growth engine and is trying to expand its presence in the field. 


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