Weekly statistics for U.S. beef exported to South Korea show a steady rebound of sales, with the pace in late November reaching the second-highest level for all of 2009 and the highest level since February. Although the velocity of beef consumption remains below that of the pre-BSE period, there are clear signs of gains in U.S. beef distribution and usage by the foodservice sector. That sector accounted for an estimated 65% of U.S. beef consumption in 2003.

Particularly encouraging is growing usage by small- to medium-size independent barbecue and rib soup establishments, whose collective potential demand for U.S. beef is considered the largest among all sectors. Elly Sung, U.S. Meat Export Federation assistant marketing manager for Korea, says, - several months ago, restaurants were reticent to use U.S. beef because of requirements which obligate them to display the country of origin. He says, - these concerns are abating.

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