Surprise. Surprise. Despite hopeful reports the past couple of months, it appears the Pacific Rim's ban on U.S. beef will linger.

Last week, South Korea reported its inspection of U.S. packing plants revealed some shortcomings to address before it will begin importing U.S. beef again.

As for Japan, they're supposedly in the midst of conducting public forums with its consumers. That comes before an audit of U.S. plants, and according to various reports last week, before more procedural steps Japan is saying must also be taken.

We've said it before, while this market is obviously important to the future fortunes of the U.S. beef business, when it does open it won't likely have much impact on the short-term market, given current fundamentals. Moreover, until the zero-tolerance conditions of beef trade with these countries is adjusted, once the border does open, it will likely only be a matter of time before it gets closed again.