Korea imports more U.S. DDGS, ups its production of mixed feeds

By Holly Jessen | March 12, 2013

Byong Ryol Min, the U.S. Grains Council director in Korea, recently highlighted a positive story for distillers grains in that country. Declaring 2012 an overall good year for U.S. DDGS, he said Korea imported more than 505,000 metric tons on a customs cleared basis, 469,000 metric tons of which were from the United States. “Even as global competition increases, U.S. DDGS exports to Korea continue to remain strong, now at a 93 percent market share,” he said, adding that the country has remained a loyal customer despite higher than normal DDGS prices. 

The total imports of U.S. DDGS for December sat at 37,000 metric tons, up from 32,000 metric tons brought in the same month of 2011. In 2011 and 2012, February was the month with the highest total of DDGS imports to Korea, according to a USGS chart. Although the monthly totals for the first half of the year show more DDGS was imported in 2011 than in 2012, that situation reversed in the second half of the year. The 2012 monthly totals topped 2011 numbers in July, August, October, November and December.

Korea also increased its production of mixed feeds in 2012, Min pointed out. A total of 18,480 metric tons was produced, an 11 percent increase and the largest increase recorded. Swine feed production is also up, increasing 27 percent thanks to rapid recover following a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in early 2011. “As of December 2012, Korea's swine inventory is at 9.9 million head, also the largest ever,” he said.