Korea Buying U.S. Corn

Large increase in market share seen for U.S. in 2008.

The United States was by far Korea's number one source of corn this year. According to U.S. Grains Council director in Seoul, Byong Ryol Min, the U.S. enjoyed supplying 83.2% of the nation's total feed grains and substitutes, the highest since 1984. That's a drastic increase when compared with 39% reported during the past three years. Korea imported 8.8 million metric tons of feed grains and substitutes during the period of January through October, an increase of 2.7% over the same period last year.

Two major factors are involved in the United States' current market share jump in Korea according to Mike Callahan, USGC senior director of international operations for Asia.

"We've been able to regain a lot of lost share from over the past years, especially during the time when China was exporting corn," Callahan says. "And, the Council has continued to provide trade and technical services to Korea, even when U.S. market share in Korea was depressed."

Callahan said many new, younger faces have entered Korea's feed industry throughout the years. So, the Council has been working closely with them, educating feed representatives about the quality and supply of U.S. corn and the reliability of U.S. producers in their abilities to meet Korea's feed needs.

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