Market Profile - Korea

Korea Market Snapshot

Supply/Demand Basics

  • Coarse grains demand of 13 MMT/year – 98.5% imported: 79% for feed, 15% corn milling, 6% beverage alcohol and others.
  • #4 import market of U.S. corn in MY 2015/2016.
  • #4 import market of U.S. DDGS in MY 2015/2016.
  • Very limited barley and sorghum imports despite KORUS FTA.
  • Livestock industry and compound feed market growing marginally.

Country Overview

  • Population: 51.2 million
  • Population growth: 0.4%
  • Urban %: 82.5%
  • Urabn Growth %: 0.66%
  • GDP: 1.4 trillion
  • GDP growth: 2.7%
  • GDP per capita: $27,633
  • Asia’s 4th and world’s 11th largest economy.
  • World’s 8th largest trading nation with a s trong balance.
  • Must contend with slowing GDP growth and aging population.
  • President impeachment has an overall negative impact on the economy.

Trade and Market Share Issues

  • Sophisticated price buyer; U.S. share is very volatile depending on price situation.
  • With the increase in meat imports, growth of livestock likely to slow down in future; disease control has been a chronic issue.
  • Significant increase of DDGS imports; the goal for 2020 is 1.2 MMT.
  • Corn quality (higher BCFM) at the ports of discharge has been a perennial problem.
  • 520 TMT of old crop rice will be supplied for animal feed in 2017.
  • Barley consumption for rice substitute decreased due to the trend of super grains.

Policy Issues

  • Biotech approval system is slow and unpredictable; 30% of committee members replaced.
  • Enhanced new labeling act enacted in February; anti-GMO activities has been becoming stronger and widespread by NGOs, media and the National Assembly.
  • RDA and MFDS want to update regulatory direction of NBT and U.S.  GMO labeling law.
  • Currently no fuel ethanol RFS, a possibility to adopt fuel ethanol RFS after 2020.
  • Expanding interest in Trump government’s FTAs and grain trade policies
Korea Supply Demand