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US beef goes on shelves at hypermarkets nationwide

TAIPEI--U.S. beef containing permitted traces of the formerly banned drug ractopamine has hit the shelves of major hypermarkets in Taiwan, including Carrefour and Costco, while the locally based retail giant RT-Mart has decided not to sell such beef. U.S. beef products are between 10 and 20 percent more expensive than products from New Zealand and Australia, with chuck short ribs selling for NT$550 (US$18.7) per kilogram, rib fingers for NT$450 per kilo and boneless short plate ribs for NT$820 per kilo, according to Carrefour, which started selling U.S. beef Sunday.

Imports of U.S. beef remain small for now, but some customers have been buying beef for barbecues to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, the French retailer said.

Sales figures will not be available for another one or two weeks, it added.

U.S. warehouse club operator Costco has allowed individual stores to sell small amounts of beef to test the market and evaluate consumer demand.

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