(Posted Wed. May 7th, 2014)
The highly sophisticated Korean market, which has the ability to diversify sourcing and reformulate rations in response to pricing, has once again returned to purchasing U.S. corn. Driven by the record 2013 U.S. corn crop, so far this marketing year (Sept. 1 through April 24), U.S. corn exports to Korea have totaled almost 3.3 million metric tons (130 million bushels) versus 359,000 tons (14 million bushels) over the same period last year.
In hopes of sustaining U.S. market share in Korea, the U.S. Grains Council has been actively promoting the advantages of sourcing corn from the United States. Furthering this effort, Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade, recently presented the Council's 2013/2014 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report to Korean importers and end-users.
"The attendees expressed concern about variations in test weight between export catchment areas," said Byong Ryol Min, USGC director in Korea. "They also were concerned about the broken corn and foreign material levels, specifically why the levels varied from harvest to export."
Cordero explained to the group that 2013 was a wet year in the United States which may have caused year-over-year fluctuations for test weight but the average remained well above standards for U.S. No. 2. He reviewed all the features of the Export Quality Report, with a focus on broken corn and foreign material levels, and gave an overview of the U.S. corn export system — how handling in the export system may alter broken corn and foreign material levels from harvest to export.
"Overall, the seminar reinforced trust and confidence in the 2013 U.S. corn crop and the United States' reputation as the long-term reliable supplier of grains," Min said. "Alvaro also discussed the U.S. planting intentions for 2014, which gave the attendees a deeper understanding of future availability of U.S. corn."