WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — While South Korea imported a record amount of U.S. dried distiller’s grains with solubles, there is even more demand to capture, according to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).

Imports to the nation exceeded one million tonnes for the first time in 2017-18. Purchases so far this year are at 642,000 tonnes, up slightly year-over-year, making South Korea the fourth largest U.S. DDGS market.

The USGC has set a target of reaching 1.2 million tonnes by 2022.

To help meet that goal, the USGC is actively promoting DDGS in the region, including at two conferences earlier in May.

  The council organized the events to provide updated technical information to formulators, research and development staff and feed industry buyers. Conference speakers and participating USGC members included a U.S. swine nutrition expert, U.S. poultry nutrition expert and three U.S. DDGS suppliers.

  “This program does a very good job promoting the use of DDGS and educating the research and development teams on how to better utilize DDGS in their formulas and increase inclusion rates,” said Haksoo Kim, USGC director in South Korea. “Since 2017, growth in the South Korean market has increased dramatically, largely driven by assistance from the council.”

In Seoul, 65 formulators and research and development personnel, in addition to 20 buyers from major compound feed millers, learned the latest about using U.S. DDGS in swine and poultry diets. In Busan, 15 end-users and 10 buyers in the Youngnam area participated. The U.S. consultants and members also visited the DDGS discharging port and storage in Busan.

The conferences included opportunities for participating U.S. suppliers to conduct 15 direct business and marketing meetings with South Korean DDGS buyers and traders.

“The buyers are very friendly, open-minded and willing to establish business relationships with U.S. suppliers,” said Jerry Wang, Living Water Commodities, a division of Hawkeye Gold, LLC, who participated in the conference and business meetings.

 The Council has promoted the use of U.S. DDGS in livestock and poultry rations in South Korea since 2004. The Council’s DDGS programming in Korea includes technology seminars and on-site consultations to promote increased inclusion rates. Additionally, the Council connects U.S. suppliers with DDGS buyers during events like Export Exchange 2018 and an annual U.S. DDGS promotion conference to initiate a dialogue on quality and establish a stable supply channel.