Beef prices hit highest in 6 years

Angela Lee, May 16, 2016, 9:56 a.m.

The price of local beef hit its highest level in six years due to a steadily dwindling number of cattle, government data showed Monday. The price for domestic beef, known as “hanwoo,” went up 18.1 percent last month from the same period last year, to record the biggest jump since April 2010, when prices jumped 19.6 percent, according to Statistics Korea data. 

Prices of local beef have been on the rise since late last year as the number of cattle continues to fall. Domestic farms cut the number of cattle as the prices of local beef went down. The government had also helped domestic farms close their businesses to stem the decline of local beef following a free trade deal with the United States that went into effect in 2012. 

The government said 2.59 million head of hanwoo cattle are now being raised, compared to the recommended 2.8 million head.

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