Korean milk export to China resumes on Tuesday {21 July 2015], after the relaxing of an import halt started last May [2014] as the Chinese government tightened sanitary standards on foreign food products. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on Monday, three Korean dairy companies – Maeil Dairies Industry, Yonsei Milk and Seoul Dairy Cooperative – succeeded in getting some of their products registered as safe to be imported by the central government of China early last month…Full Article: Korea Joongang Daily July 2015

Key Points

  • South Korean exports of sterilized milk (ultra-high temperature processing or UTH) were not affected by the ban. From 2012 to 2014, Chinese imports of South Korean sterilized milk increased from US$2.4 million to US$36 million.
  • In 2003, China banned the importation of uncooked kimchi from South Korea.
  • According to a representative from Korea’s Food Safety Ministry, China’s ban on South Korean cooked and packaged samgyetang (i.e. chicken ginseng soup) imports won’t be lifted for at least five years (~2020).

ChinaAg Comments

  • From 2010 to 2014, Chinese (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau) imports of South Korean fresh milk increased from 37 MTs to more than 8,500 MTs. Chinese imports of concentrated milk (e.g. milk powder) peaked in 2013 at 373 MTs before declining to 206 MTs in 2014.
  • In July 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that he would look into easing China’s strict food safety regulations on fermented foods. China requires that all fermented vegetable imports must contain less than 30 colon bacillus per 100 grams. South Korean kimchi (fermented vegetables) have been banned in China as a result.

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