WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — In 2012, Korea imported more than 505,000 tonnes of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), of which 469,000 tonnes were from the U.S., the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said on March 7.

Despite higher than normal U.S. market prices this year, Korea was a loyal customer to the U.S. In December 2012 alone, a total of 37,000 tonnes of U.S. DDGS, cleared local customs in Korea, up from 32,000 tonnes in 2011. Even as global competition increases, U.S. DDGS exports to Korea continue to remain strong, now at a 93% market share.

Korea also increased its production of mixed feeds in 2012, producing 18,480 tonnes, an 11% year-on-year increase and its largest ever. In turn, swine feed production has increased, up 27%, thanks to the rapid recovery of the hog population from the formidable inventory loss due to the 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.