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Insight into Korea's Corn Market Sectors

by 5m Editor
2 March 2012, at 6:55am

SOUTH KOREA - According to Byong Ryol Min, US Grains Council director in Korea, the United States supplied 77.6 per cent of Korea’s corn imports in 2011.

Korea's total 2011 imports of feed grains and substitutes, including feed wheat, tapioca and lupine seed, decreased 7.7 per cent compared to 2010. "The decline we're seeing in mixed feed consumption is a reflection of diminishing livestock numbers as a result of the foot-and-mouth outbreak earlier in the year," Mr Min explained.

Given the poor production output, pork imports increased a dramatic 68.4 percent last year. To curb soaring consumer prices, the Government of Korea stimulated imports with a duty free tariff-rate quota policy in addition to subsidies to cover the cost difference in shipping chilled pork bellies by air transport instead of ocean freight.

Consequently, Korea’s livestock product imports exceeded 1 million metric tons for the first time in history. The United States provided 36.9 per cent of that total. By Council assessment, that is more than 2.3 million metric tons of US feed grains imported indirectly in the form of meat.

"Market development pays dividends across the board," Mr Min commented. "The US’s proven reliability as a supplier opens many doors."