Some of the biggest customers for US beef were quick to react to the news of a 4th case of BSE discovered in the US. Even though the infected animal never came close to the food supply, South Korea will halt customs clearance of any new U.S. beef imports, Park Sang Ho, an official at South Korea’s farm ministry, told Bloomberg by phone. The agriculture ministry shortly thereafter issued a statement saying it will take “necessary measures” on beef imports and will take steps “soon” in regard to the nation’s quarantine rules. Japan has no plan to suspend U.S. beef imports “at the moment” according to Minoru Yamamoto, director of the animal health division at the farm ministry.
After falling sharply when the news of the BSE discovery broke, livestock markets began to recover in the overnight trade. “It’s just a small rebound after yesterday’s drop,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at IDO Securities Co. “An outbreak of mad cow disease will keep putting downward pressure on the market. This will keep buyers, including Japan, from easing trade curbs on U.S. beef imports.” Futures for June delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $1.1185 per pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at 10:11 a.m. Tokyo time. Futures fell 2.6 percent to settle at $1.11575 per pound Tuesday to the lowest level since July 1 and the biggest percentage drop on a most-active contract since May 23.
Source: Some material provided by Bloomberg news