Archive for the ‘Agriculture statistics’ Category

Hillside farming

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The US State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit put out the following map of hillside farming in the DPRK.

US-DOS-HIU-DPRK-Food-shortage-2014-9-24

Click image for larger (PDF) version.

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DPRK rice imports from China increase

Monday, August 25th, 2014

According to Yonhap:

North Korea bought US$7.02 million worth of rice from the neighboring country last month, up 115 percent from $3.27 million a year earlier, according to Chinese trade data from the Seoul-based Korea International Trade Association.

The amount also represents an on-month increase of 53 percent from $4.57 million.

The sudden increase in imports comes amid reports that the price of rice has risen sharply in the North.

According to the South Korean online newspaper DailyNK on Aug. 12, rice cost 5,800 won per kilogram in Pyongyang, up 1,550 won from the middle of July.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s imports of Chinese rice more than double
Yonhap
2014-8-25

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Food imports from China fall in 2014

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

According to Yonhap:

North Korea’s grain imports from China tumbled more than 50 percent on-year in the first half of this year, data showed Wednesday, amid speculation that relations between the communist allies are not like before.

North Korea imported 58,387 tons of cereal crops from China in the January-June period, down 53 percent from 124,228 tons recorded a year earlier, according to the data by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

By type, flour topped the list with 40,142 tons, or 68.8 percent, followed by rice and corn with 13,831 tons and 3,420 tons, respectively, added the Seoul-based agency.

Analysts say the remarkable decrease may be attributable to reportedly strained ties between the two sides in recent months.

“Of late, North Korea has appeared to move to reduce its economic dependence on China and diversify its foreign economic partners,” said Lim Eul-chul, professor at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University.

Kwon Tae-jin, researcher at private think tank GS&J, said it might have been more affected by Pyongyang’s increased crop yield.

“North Korea’s stockpile of crops seems to have grown due to a good harvest last year.

Meanwhile, China’s fertilizer exports to North Korea also plunged 21.3 percent to 109,531 tons during the January-June period this year from a year earlier, said KITA.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s grain imports from China halve in H1
Yonhap
2014-7-30

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North Korea food rations for Kim Il-sung birthday

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

According to Yonhap:

North Korea doled out 420 grams of food to each person per day in April, the same amount as in the previous month, a news report said Tuesday.

Citing the U.N. World Food Program’s office in Pyongyang, the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that last month’s daily food ration per capita was unchanged from March though the North marked the 102 birthday of Kim Il-sung, founder of the communist country and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.

The founding father died in 1994, and his birthday is one of the most important holidays in North Korea.

The RFA said April’s daily food ration was much lower than the 600 grams recommended by the U.N. agency.

North Korea’s daily food ration, which amounted to 400 grams in January, has been hovering at 402 grams since then.

The Washington-based Voice of America (VOA), meanwhile, said the WFP provided 2,405 tons of food aid to the impoverished country last month.

The food assistance in April was up 50 percent from March and the largest monthly amount this year, but it was much lower than the 4,093 tons provided during the same month a year earlier, the VOA reported.

The WFP has also suspended operations of five out of its seven confectionery factories in North Korea due to a fund shortage, the VOA said.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea rations 420 grams of food to each person in April
Yonhap
2
014-5-6

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Fertilizer imports up to Feb 2014

Friday, March 28th, 2014

According to Yonhap:

The North brought in 13,769 tons of Chinese fertilizer in February, a whopping 13 times more than some 1,064 tons from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korean Rural Economic Institute (KREI).

In the first two months of the year, Pyongyang imported 48,882 tons of Chinese fertilizer, which is far higher than 1,066 tons from the same period a year earlier, the data showed.

“The 2013 figure is unprecedented, as the North used to buy a limited amount in the winter season. It seems to be very proactive in securing fertilizer long ahead of its usual schedule, and that indicates farm output improvement is its top priority,” said KREI researcher Kwon Tae-jin.

In his New Year’s message, the North’s young leader Kim Jong-un stressed boosting food production, saying all efforts “should go for agriculture … in order to build a strong economy and to improve the people’s livelihoods.”

Last year, Pyongyang bought a total of 207,334 tons of fertilizer from China, down by 18 percent from the previous year.

Additional Information:

1. The United Nations and South Korean government have reported that domestic gain production is up in 2013.

2. The DPRK has also increased food imports from China in 2013.

3. Food aid from UN was down in 2013.

4. Food prices fell in last year. DPRK won appreciated in last year.

5. Kim Jong-un’s speech to subworkteam leaders.

6. Previous posts on ‘foood’.

7. Scott Snyder on DPRK-China trade.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s fertilizer imports from China soar in Feb.
Yonhap
2014-3-28

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Hyundai Research Institute: DPRK economic report for 2013

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

According to Yonhap:

The North’s per-capita GDP for last year is estimated at US$854, up $39 from a year earlier, according to the report released by the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI), a South Korean private think tank.

The North’s 2013 per-capita GDP amounts to a mere 3.6 percent of South Korea’s per-capita GDP of $23,838 for the same year, it said

North Korea’s grain production improved on the back of favorable weather conditions, while the country also expanded its investment in various industrial sectors, the report said.

The communist state’s grain production is estimated to have grown some 5 percent last year from a year earlier. The country saw an 8.5 percent on-year rise and 10 percent gain in its grain production, respectively, in 2011 and 2012.

Also, the reclusive nation increased its budget spending for railroads, metal and power generation sectors, which contributed in boosting its economy, the report showed.

Trade between North Korea and its strongest ally China jumped 10.4 percent on-year to reach $6.5 billion last year, while inter-Korean trade sank 42 percent to $1.1 billion due to a five-month halt of an jointly run industrial park.

The 2013 inter-Korean trade figure is the lowest since 2005 when the comparable figure was $1.06 billion.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex was shut down in early April 2013 after the North unilaterally pulled out all of its workers at 123 South Korean firms. It reopened in September after Pyongyang agreed not to repeat such a suspension.

Assistance from the international community to the North also dropped 47 percent on-year to reach $63.1 million last year, the report said.

Though the story does not cite the article from which the data is drawn, you can download the original report by the Hyundai Research Institute here (PDF in Korean).

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s per-capita GDP grows 4.8 pct in 2013: report
Yonhap
2014-3-16

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UN WFP assistance to the DPRK falls in 2013

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

According to Yonhap:

North Korea received record-low food aid from the United Nations food agency in 2013 due to sluggish contributions from the international community, a media report said Wednesday.

Some 38,000 tons of food were delivered from the World Food Program (WFP) to the impoverished communist country in 2013, some 30 percent of the agency’s target for the year, according to the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA).

It was less than half the amount sent in the previous year and the smallest since 1996 when the agency began helping the North, the report said, adding it was attributable to the WFP’s failure to raise enough funds to achieve the goal.

The amount of the U.N. agency’s food aid to the North has been fluctuating from some 136,000 tons in 2008, 50,000 tons in 2010, 100,000 tons in 2011 and 84,000 tons in 2012, according to WFP data.

Citing its dark fund-raising prospects in 2014, the WFP told the RFA that most of its factories for producing nutrition biscuits for the people there were on the verge of shutting down in February.

The daily food rations for the people in the North came to some 400 grams per person last year, far lower than the minimum recommended amount of 600 grams and the North Korean regime’s target amount of 573 grams, the WFP said.

North Korea’s food production is estimated to have been at about 5.03 million metric tons in 2013, up 5 percent from the previous year, according to the WFP report posted on its website.

The food security situation, however, is still serious, with 84 percent of all households having borderline or poor food consumption, it added.

The North’s leader Kim Jong-un put an emphasis on food production in his New Year’s message last week, saying “all efforts should go for agriculture … in order to build a strong economy and to improve the people’s livelihoods.”

Here is the UNFAO November 2013 food security assessment.

Here is additional analysis from Benjamin Silberstein.

Here are previous posts on “Food“, “Agriculture“, “International Aid“, “International Aid Statistics“.

Read the full story here:
WFP’s food aid to N. Korea hits all-time low in 2013
Yonhap
2014-1-8

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DPRK crop imports from China hit annual high

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

According to Yonhap:

North Korea’s crop imports from China more than doubled to hit a yearly high in September, data showed Wednesday.

According to the data compiled by Kwon Tae-jin, a senior researcher at the Korea Rural Economic Institute, North Korea imported 67,208 tons of grains and legumes such as flour, rice, corn and bean in September from its neighboring country, compared with 26,804 tons a month earlier.

The surge was attributed mainly to Pyongyang’s increased imports of corn. The impoverished nation bought a total of 50,613 tons of corn last month, nearly nine times the amount imported the previous month, the data showed.

“The big increase in imports would either mean that Pyongyang is running out of its stock amid the regime’s efforts to increase the ration to people since this spring or that it is try to stabilize market prices,” Kwon said.

“Factoring in the forecast of good harvests for the autumn, the North is expected to enjoy a relatively stable supply of crops at least for the rest of the year,” he added.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s crop imports from China hit annual high in Sept.
Yonhap
2013-10-30

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Recent DPRK agricultural statistics

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

According to Yonhap, the DPRK’s food imports increased over the summer:

North Korea’s crop imports from China rose 16.5 percent in August from the previous month, data showed Tuesday, indicating stability in food supply for people in the impoverished nation.

According to the data compiled by Kwon Tae-jin, a researcher at the Korea Rural Economic Institute, North Korea imported 26,804 tons of grains such as flour, rice, corn and bean in August from its neighboring country, compared with 22,988 tons a month earlier.

The North spent a total of US$15.4 million to buy the crops that month, the largest monthly spending for the year, the data showed.

August also marked the seventh consecutive month that the North’s crop imports topped 20,000 tons.

“Since February, the North has imported more than 20,000 tons of crops per month from its strongest ally,” Kwon said.

“Factoring in the forecast of good harvests for the autumn thanks to good weather conditions, the North is expected to enjoy a relatively stable supply of crops at least for the rest of the year,” he added.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s fertilizer imports from China totaled 183,639 tons in the January-August period, down 27.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the data.

North Korea’s domestic food production is also apparently higher. According to Yonhap:

North Korea’s grain harvest is expected to grow about 8 percent this year from 2012 thanks to relatively favorable weather conditions, a source with the knowledge of food situation in the communist nation said Wednesday.

The North is estimated to produce as much as 5.3 million tons of grains this year, a 7.7 percent increase from 4.92 million tons last year, the source said on the condition of anonymity.

This year’s estimated grain harvest roughly meets with the North’s annual demand of 5.4 million tons. The annual demand was calculated by South Korea’s state-run Korea Rural Economic Institute.

“Grain harvest in North Korea this year is much better than last year because there were no big natural disasters, except for heavy rains in July this year,” the source said.

Despite the positive assessments of the DPRK’s food supply, the UN warns more food assistance is needed. According to Yonhap:

North Korea remains one of the 34 countries in the world that require external assistance to properly feed their people, a media report said Friday.

The Voice of America said the October issue of Crop Prospects and Food Situation by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that there will be some 2.8 million “vulnerable” people in the communist country needing assistance until this year’s fall harvest.

The Washington-based media outlet said that judging by official estimates tallied by the United Nations organization, Pyongyang’s spring cereal harvest for 2013, mainly winter, wheat and barley, fell shy of the initial forecast, and that this is the main reason for the current shortage.

The country had reported improved harvests in the fall of 2012.

The U.N. agency also said people in the country are experiencing “widespread lack of access” to food caused in part by past floods.

The latest findings added that overall conditions in the North have not changed vis-a-vis July when the last food situation report was released.

At the time, the North was the only country in East Asia to be placed on the list requiring external aid. Others on the list of the 34 countries were in Africa and Central Asia.

The FAO, meanwhile, estimated that the North has been able to secure 328,000 tons of various grain from November of 2012 to early last month. This is equal to 65 percent of the 507,000 tons of grain Pyongyang needs to properly feed its population.

Read the full stories here:
N. Korea’s crop imports from China up 16 pct in Aug.
Yonhap
2013-10-1

N. Korea’s grain harvest seen improving: source
Yonhap
2013-10-2

N. Korea needs external aid to feed its people: report
Yonhap
2013-10-4

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DPRK imports of Chinese grain in 2013

Monday, July 29th, 2013

UPDATE 1 (2013-7-29): DPRK imports of Chinese grain drop 8.4% in the first half of 2013. According to Yonhap:

North Korea’s imports of Chinese grain fell 8.4 percent on-year in the first half of 2013 mainly due to a better harvest last fall, a report said Monday.

The report by the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI) showed Pyongyang’s imports of flour, rice, corn and other grain products reaching 124,228 tons in the January-June period, compared with 135,648 tons a year earlier.

The state-run institute said that while the country imported more than 20,000 tons of grain on average from February onward, last year’s better harvest and overall improvements in food supply conditions led to the first-half decline.

“Overall, import numbers indicate supply and demand of grain is very stable in North Korea,” said Kwon Tae-jin, a research fellow at KREI who compiled the report.

He said besides grain, the communist country imported 139,161 tons of chemical fertilizers from China in the first half, a drop of 35 percent from 213,871 tons purchased in the same six-month period last year.

ORIGINAL POST (2013-7-29): DPRK imports of Chinese grain fall 14.2% in 2013. According to Yonhap (via Global Post):

Imports of Chinese grain by North Korea fell 14.2 percent on-year in the first five months of 2013 mainly due to a better harvest last fall, a report said Wednesday.

The findings by the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI) showed Pyongyang’s imports of flour, rice, corn and other grain products reaching 101,170 tons in the January-May period, down from 117,922 tons the year before.

The institute said numbers fell sharply in May when total grain imports stood at just 21,142 tons, which represents an 18 percent drop from the previous year and an 18.2 percent decrease from April. The communist country brought in 25,850 tons of grain from its neighbor in the preceding month and 25,788 tons in May of 2012.

Kwon Tae-jin, a research fellow at KREI who compiled the report, said the sizable drop in imports was probably caused by better grain output last year, which made it unnecessary for the country to buy the commodity from China.

“It can be a sign that things have improved,” he said. The researcher also speculated that the harvest of such produce as barley, wheat and potatoes, which grow in spring, may have been better than in the past.

The experts, who checked raw data provided by the Korea International Trade Association, said the North imported 42.7 percent more chemical fertilizers in the January-May period of this year vis-a-vis the same time period in 2012.

The country brought in 129,967 tons of fertilizer from China, compared to 91,096 tons the year before. Such an increase may exert a positive effect on farm output.

Kwon said that the spike in fertilizers is a sure sign that the North is giving top priority to pushing up agricultural output.

Related to the latest data, a government source hinted that North Korea’s emphasis on agriculture may be aimed at trying to strengthen the leadership of its new leader Kim Jong-un, who took power after the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il in late 2011.

“Unlike other economic sectors that require time, agriculture is something that can generate results in a short period of time and have immediate impact on everyday lives,” the official who declined to be identified said.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s imports of Chinese grain fall 14.2 pct in 2013
Yonhap (via Global Post)
2013-7-3

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