SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Driven by feed production, South Korea’s overall corn consumption is expected to reach 12 million tonnes in 2022-23, up 6% from the current marketing year, according to the April 6 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Corn use reflects 9.6 million tonnes for feed and 2.4 million tonnes for food, seed and industrial uses. Imports are headed toward 11.9 million tonnes in 2022-23, up 5% from 2021-22 to cover demand, the USDA said.

Meanwhile, the USDA has revised 2021-22 overall corn consumption in South Korea down 4% from its previous forecast to 11.3 million tonnes, and feed corn imports are expected to drop 500,000 tonnes, to 9 million tonnes, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“Some of the contracts will likely be replaced with alternative origins (including the United States and South America), but overall supply of feed corn in Korea is still expected to decline during the remaining months of the year,” the USDA said. “Greater demand for feed grains during this year from the anticipated recovery of animal inventories is expected to be met by increased consumption of feed wheat.”

Compound feed production is forecast to reach 21.3 million tonnes in 2022-23, up from 21.1 million tonnes in the current year, as cattle, swine, and poultry inventories continue to grow to meet higher consumer demand for meat products. Corn is expected to remain the major ingredient used in compound feed with a 45% inclusion rate (9.6 million tonnes), followed by feed wheat (1.3 million tonnes).

Wheat consumption in 2022-23 is forecast at 3.7 million tonnes, down from 4.4 million tonnes in the current year. Wheat imports are forecast to reach 4.2 million tonnes in 2022-23, including flour and pasta imports on a wheat equivalent basis, down 12% from 2021-22.

Driven by strong bakery sector demand, flour imports are estimated at 21,000 tonnes (wheat equivalent), up 31% from the previous year. Flour imports are predicted to reach 22,000 tonnes in 2022-23. 

“France will likely remain the leading supplier for imported flour, followed by Italy, the United States, and Turkey,” the USDA said.

South Korea will use 4 million tonnes (milled basis) of rice in 2022-23, up 1% from the current marketing year estimate as the government likely will distribute additional rice for processing uses to balance rice reserves. Marketing year 2022-23 (Nov. 1 to Oct. 31) rice production is forecast at 3.8 million tonnes (milled basis), down 3% from the previous year.