It’s been reported in the news recently that President of the United States, Donald Trump, is considering removing the U.S. from the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement. Trade matters to IL Corn farmers, as do trade agreements such as the so-called KORUS FTA. South Korea is one of our top importers of corn and DDGS this year. IL Corn suggests that you contact your representative in Washington, DC, and let him or her know that the free trade agreement with Korea is important to IL Corn farmers. Free trade agreements also help cement political relationships between nations, an important detail to remember when there is uncertainty in a region. The terms in KORUS provide market access, but these sales are actualized through the strong trading partnership between the United States and South Korea that spans decades.
So far this marketing year (September 2016 to June 2017), Korea was the 3rd largest importer of U.S. corn, buying 5.3 million metric tons or over 200 million bushels. This is the strongest exports in the past 5 years.
So far this marketing year (September 2016 to June 2017), Korea was the 3rd largest importer of U.S. DDGS, buying 850,000 tons and the strongest year in the last five years.
So far this marketing year (Sept 2016 to June 2017), the grain equivalent of our beef, pork, and poultry has totaled 1.15 million tons. This is also the strongest export pace to Korea in the last five years.
In terms of grains in all forms, US exports to Korea so far this marketing year (Sept 2016 to June 2017) have totaled 7.7 million metric tons, or over 300 million bushels, with corn, DDGS, and meat exports leading the charge. This is the strongest export performance in the past 5 years and makes Korea our third largest market in terms using this more comprehensive definition of feedgrain exports.
Strong exports to Korea of "grains in all forms (GIAFs)" have had a big impact on the overall US economy. By the time the final trade figures are counted for marketing year 2016/17, exports of GIAFs to Korea will have generated $7 billion in total U.S. economic activity and supported 56,000 US jobs in farming, processing, marketing, and related industries with many of those jobs being in our rural communities.