December 22, 2008


South Korea's US 2008 corn imports largest in 10 years


The US is enjoying its largest market share percentage in 10 years in South Korea's corn import market, according to US Grains Council (USGC) Director Byong Ryol Min.


Min reported that South Korea imported 8.8 million tonnes of feed grains and substitutes during the period of January to October, representing a 2.7 percent increase over the 8.6 million tonnes imported during the same period last year.


The US enjoyed 83.2 percent of the nation's total feed grains and substitutes export market, the highest since 1984 and a drastic increase compared with 39 percent reported during the past three years.


Of Korea's total feed grains and substitutes imported, 87.8 percent or 7.8 million tonnes were made up of corn.


The US market share in Korea's corn imports was recorded at 94.4 percent, the highest in 10 years and a significant increase compared to the 48 percent it held the past three years.


According to Mike Callahan, USGC senior director of international operations for Asia, there are two major factors involved in the US' current market share jump in Korea.


One reason behind this year's success is the fact that they have been able to regain a lot of lost shares from over the past years, especially from during the time when China was exporting corn. Secondly, the council has continued to provide trade and technical services to Korea, despite a weak US market share.


Callahan added said the opening of new feed industries in South Korea have opened more opportunities for US grains.

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