The World Trade Organisation’s appellate body is to rule on December 11 on an appeal brought by South Korea against an earlier decision by a WTO dispute’s panel that it had illegally discriminated against foreign producers by banning the sale of imported and local beef in the same store.

It backed the case brought by the USA, Australia and New Zealand and ordered Seoul to dismantle the system. The panel also found that the amount of subsidy provided to the country’s domestic beef industry was excessive.

But the South Koreans have appealed. The new ruling will come weeks before the expiry of the South Korean beef import quota, due on December 31.

By Keith Nuthall