Korea trade mission results in $30m in new trade

09-Nov-2018 Intellasia | Feedsuffs | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Nearly 50 US agribusinesses, farm groups and state departments of agriculture spent November 5-8 in South Korea to enhance trading relationship.

An estimated $3 million in short-term sales and another $30 million in sales projected for the next month were signed during a trade mission to South Korea November 5-8. Representatives from nearly 50 US agribusinesses and farm organisations joined Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) administrator Ken Isley on a US Department of Agriculture trade mission to Seoul, South Korea, this week.

“Korea is consistently among the largest and most reliable export markets for US agriculture, and the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, known as KORUS, has opened up even greater opportunities,” Isley said. “This is my first trade mission as FAS administrator, and I’m delighted to be joined by a large delegation of business and state government leaders from the US who are seeking to capitalise on those opportunities.”

Speaking from Seoul, Insley said an estimated 700 business-to-business meetings were conducted that brought increased sales. In addition to 49 representatives from the several companies and organisations, Isley was joined by Nebraska director of agriculture Steve Wellman, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry Bettina Ring and officials from the Georgia and Missouri departments of agriculture.

He said bilateral meetings were held on regulatory issues regarding rice, soybeans, wheat, potatoes, horticultural products and access for pears and apples. Also discussed were ethanol and Korea’s position on biotechnology, including new technologies, Isley said.

The rice and soybean discussions pertained to the current tariff rate quotas (TRQs) and when to conduct auctions to allow the US to better participate with the newest crop possible. The soybean TRQ discussions focused on additional volume increases and allowing farmers flexible timing to make proper planting decisions.

Isley said the meat industry was well represented on the mission trip. “Beef is extraordinarily popular,” Isley said, and is seeing exceptional growth. Poultry also has strong market share. “There’s a lot of demand for US products,” he added, noting a good brand and reputation for US meat products in Korea.

The US is the largest supplier of agricultural products to Korea, providing $7 billion worth of products in 2017 and accounting for 25 percent of Korea’s total imports for the year, Isley said. US agricultural imports into Korea have been up 11 percent since 2016, and Isley expects a strong finish to the end of 2018.



Category: Korea

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