Canada Beef Closes Seoul Office, Shifts Resources in Asia

Canada Beef Inc. has announced a realignment of its Asia operations in an effort to maximize export opportunities. Major changes include:
  • Additional staff and marketing resources are being added to the Japan and mainland China offices due to expanded opportunities in these markets.
  • Resources in Hong Kong and Taiwan will be reallocated to support marketing efforts in southern China and Southeast Asia. This will include a downsizing of Canada Beef’s Hong Kong office.
  • Canada Beef’s office in South Korea will be closed immediately, with future market development work conducted with the help of the Canadian Embassy and trade commissioners. This is due to a lack of progress in the FTA talks between Canada and Korea, which has limited marketing prospects for Canadian beef.

Canada’s beef/beef variety meat exports to Korea have dropped sharply this year – through August, exports totaled 734 mt (-40 percent) valued at $3.5 million (-39 percent). However, it is difficult to determine the degree to which Canada’s tariff rate disadvantage contributed to these results. The United States is still the only major beef supplier that has an FTA in place with Korea, and U.S. beef exports to Korea are lower this year as well.

The shift in resources toward Japan and China is not surprising, given recent export trends. Like the United States, Canada was granted wider access to the Japanese beef market earlier this year. Canadian beef exports to Japan (through August) are up 57 percent in volume (11,457 mt) from a year ago and have increased 30 percent in value ($55.2 million). While Canada still has a limited number of beef plants approved for export to China, export volume (3,223 mt) is up more than 500 percent from a year ago and export value has increased 620 percent to $11.6 million.