November 9, 2011
South Korean corn imports to reach eight million tonnes
South Korean corn imports for 2011-12 are expected to be 300,000 tonnes more than its last forecast, reaching eight million tonnes because of strong feed demand in the poultry and cattle beef sectors, according to the USDA's Seoul attache Tuesday (Nov 8).
The USDA kept its 2011-12 wheat import estimate at 4.2 million tonnes, with 2.2 million tonnes for milling and two million tonnes for feed, but said imports of US wheat are likely to be 1.3 million tonnes, due to lower-than-expected exports of US feed grade wheat.
South Korea's 2011-12 wheat production is estimated to increase 12% on year to 44,000 tonnes because of increased harvested area, the USDA said, as the government's loan programme to finance purchases helped increase demand for domestic milling wheat. The government also provided drying and storing facilities to local wheat producers.
The USDA said Korean wheat farmers are expected to continue increasing the planted area in the near future in response to greater demand from the local bakery and confectionary sectors.
South Korean corn production is negligible, accounting for less than 1% of total consumption. The planted area for 2011-12 is around 15,828 hectares, the USDA said, with an estimated production of 78,000 tonnes based on the preceding five-year average yield.