South Korean Livestock Farmers Hit Hard
South Korea's livestock farmers are being forced to pay
more to import animal feeds from abroad in line with soaring international grain
In a survey of 1,400 farming households producing beef,
pork, milk, chicken and eggs, released by the National Statistical Office (NSO)
Wednesday, farmers breeding pigs earned an average of 56,000 won per head in
2007, down 41.7 percent from 96,000 won a year earlier.
The pig farmers spent 183,000 won on
average to produce 100 kg of pork, up 5.2 percent from 174,000 won, while making
221,000 won from the sale of 100 kg of pork, down 10.9 percent from 248,000
Surging animal feed prices and other production-related costs played
a role in aggravating the profitability of livestock farming, but the resumption
of American beef was the main culprit behind their worsening bottom line, the
statistical office said.
livestock farmers are bracing themselves for the avian influenza which is
sweeping the nation. An NSO official stated that the prices of imported
grain-based animal feeds have surged in line with other international
commodities, and projected that the public fear over the avian influenza and the
safety issue of U.S. beef will keep meat consumption low and further aggravates
the earnings of livestock farmers.
"More farmers have begun breeding
cows, pigs and chickens in recent years to generate greater income on rising
meat demand from wealthier Korean consumers. But the oversupply has put downward
pressure on meat prices and made livestock raisers poorer," he
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