Archive for the ‘Agriculture statistics’ Category

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


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


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.


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.

N. Korea’s grain harvest seen improving: source

N. Korea needs external aid to feed its people: report


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)


Bank of Korea publishes DPRK economic statistics

Friday, July 12th, 2013

The Bank of Korea has published its estimated aggregate data on the North Korean Economy for 2012.

You can download the report in English here.

You can download the report in Korean here.

It has been cataloged with previous reports (and many others) on my DPRK economic statistics page.

Here is what Reuters analysis of the data:

North Korea’s economy expanded for a second successive year in 2012, South Korea’s central bank said on Friday, bolstering the claims of new leader Kim Jong-un to be pursuing economic growth alongside strengthening the country’s nuclear deterrence.

The economy of the reclusive and impoverished nation grew 1.3 percent in 2012 as nearly all sectors saw improvement compared to a 0.8 percent annual growth the year before, said the Bank of Korea, one of the few sources of estimates about the economic performance of the North, which does not publish data.

Agriculture, farming and fisheries rose 3.9 percent last year in North Korea on the back of expanded use of fertiliser and an increase in pig and chicken farms, according to the Bank of Korea data, compared to a 5.3 percent growth in 2011.

Livestock farming rose 12.3 percent on an annual basis.

North Korean industrial output and manufacturing both expanded for the first time since 2008 after shrinking for three straight years, rising 1.3 percent and 1.6 percent respectively in 2012 compared to a year ago.

Despite the rise in output, North Korea remains one of the poorest countries on earth and its economy is around a thirtieth the size of industrial powerhouse South Korea.

The Bank of Korea data showed that North Korea’s total trade was worth $6.81 billion in 2012, with exports up an annual 3.3 percent, mostly on the back of chemical products and animal products. Imports were up 10.2 percent.

Trade with South Korea, which the Bank of Korea exempts from North Korea’s trade statistics, was worth $1.97 billion dollars last year, up 15 percent from a year ago. Almost all of that trade comes from the closed Kaesong industrial park.

Here is coverage by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES):

The Bank of (South) Korea released a report on the economic growth estimation of North Korea in 2012. North Korean economy recorded positive growth for two consecutive years. Per capita gross national income (GNI) rose by 2.7 percent to 1,371,000 KPW against the previous year. However, the gap between the South and North has not narrowed.

Last year, North Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was estimated to be 1.3 percent. This is the highest level since the financial crisis of 2008 when it surpassed the South Korean economic growth and reached the 3.1 percent growth.

Agricultural production improvement as well as international aid in heavy oil in 2008 permitted the North Korean economy to rebound brieflybut it began to decline resulting in minus growth in 2009 (-0.9 percent), 2010 (-0.5 percent), and 2011 (0.8 percent).

Agriculture, forestry and fishery industries last year made robust growth as well as manufacturing, engendering the boost in the economy. The construction of the Huichon Power Station was completed last year and it is considered to have attributed to the improvement in the power situation.

In terms of industries that accounted for the growth, agriculture, forestry and fishery made up about 23.4 percent of the nominal GDP, recording a production increase by 3.9 percent. Production of livestock such as swine and poultry husbandry rose by 12.3 percent and rice and corn production also increased due to improved fertilizer supply.

Production in manufacturing (21.9 percent of North Korean GDP) made a 1.6 percent increase. The rate of manufacturing production increased by 2.6 percent in 2008 but began to decline from 2009 at -3.0 percent; 2010, -0.3 percent; and 2011, -3.0 percent.

Production improved in food, tobacco and light industries by 4.7 percent, and heavy chemical industries rose by 0.2 percent. Mining (14 percent of GDP) also rose by 0.8 percent due to improvement in coal production. Electricity, gas and water supply (3.5 percent of GDP) also increased by 1.6 percent from the expansion of hydroelectric and thermal power generation. Service industry (29.4 percent of GDP) rose by 0.1 percent. Government services dropped by 0.2 percent but transportation and communication, wholesale and retail, food and lodging services increased by 2.0 and 2.2 percent, respectively. However, construction (7.8 percent of GDP) fell by 1.6 percent due to the decrease in the civil construction such as road works.

Last year, North Korea’s gross national income (nominal GNI) was estimated to be 33.5 trillion KPW. Compared to South Korea’s 1.28 quadrillion KRW, this is a ratio of about 1 to 38.2. By dividing the GNI by North Korean population, per capita gross national income is calculated to be 1,371,000 KRW. Compared to South Korea’s (25,589,000 KRW) it is 1 to 18.7. This is comparable to the figures recorded in 2011 (1 to 18.6).

North Korea’s foreign trade volume (based on only import and export excluding the inter-Korean trade) increased 7.1 percent to 6.81 billion USD. North Korea’s exports (2.88 billion USD) increased by 3.3 percent, mainly in chemical products (38.0 percent) and animal products (23.6 percent). As for imports (3.93 billion USD), textiles (17.6 percent) and transport equipment (6.2 percent) increased by 10.2 percent.

Last year, the size of trade between North-South Korea rose by 15.7 percent over the previous year at 1.97 billion USD. Import and export to and from the Kaesong Industrial Complex accounted for 99.5 percent of the total amount. North Korea’s export increased 12.1 percent — mainly machinery (28.2 percent) and electrical and electronic equipment (16.1 percent) — and imports to South Korea increased by 17.5 percent — electrical and electronic products (25.8 percent) and textiles (12.8 percent).

Here is additional coverage in the Wall Street Journal‘s Korea Real Time, Bloomberg, Straits Times, Foreign Policy.

Read the full stories here:
North Korea posts 2nd successive year of growth-Bank of Korea
Christine Kim



DPRK National Nutrition Survey final report

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

The official UN web page is here.

Here is the description:

Conducted in all provinces of DPRK from September 17th to October 17th, 2012, the National Nutrition Survey was a joint collaboration between DPRK Government, involving the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the Child Nutrition Institute, the MOPH and the National Coordination Committee as well as WHO, WFP and UNICEF.

Amongst others, the results of the survey show that Stunting remains an area of great concern in DPRK. About 28% of Korean children are stunted (Chronic Malnutrition) with provincial disparities. Acute malnutrition (4%) is present and varies according to provinces but even if the prevalence is not alarming, support is still needed to treat these children because of the high mortality risk associated with acute malnutrition. The survey also provides detail on children’s and women’s feeding practices.

You can download a PDF of the report here.

I have added this report to my “DPRK Economics Statistics Page”.


Grain imports from China fall in January

Monday, March 4th, 2013

According to Yonhap:

North Korea’s grain and fertilizer imports from China nosedived in January, Seoul’s Korea Rural Economic Institute said Sunday, citing data from the Korea International Trade Association.

North Korea imported 2,174 tons of grain and 2 tons of fertilizer from China in the first month of this year, the institute said. By product, flour imports totaled 1,172 tons and corn imports reached 540 tons.

The volume of imported grain marked a mere 9.2 percent of the North’s imports of Chinese grain in the previous month, while the corresponding figure for fertilizer amounted to 20 percent, the institute said.

Compared with the same month of last year, the figures reached 25.9 percent and 0.03 percent, respectively.

“The steep decline in the North’s grain imports from China is very unusual, even considering the past trend of grain imports decreasing every January,” said Kwon Tae-jin, a researcher at the institute.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s grain imports from China plunge in Jan.


DPRK imports of grain / food from China drop

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

According to Yonhap:

North Korea imported significantly less grain and fertilizers from China last year, mainly due to improvements in overall food conditions in the country, local sources said Tuesday.

Kwon Tae-jin, a research fellow at the Seoul-based Korea Rural Community Corp., said data compiled from January through November showed North Korea’s grain imports from its neighboring country reaching 257,931 tons.

This represents a 26.8 percent decrease from 352,282 tons tallied for the same 11 month period in 2011.

“There was a noticeable drop in various grain imports last year,” the researcher said, adding that imports of corn and rice fell 19.2 percent and 16.7 percent vis-a-vis the year before, with wheat and bean purchases declining 56.2 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

The latest data also showed Pyongyang importing 252,780 tons of chemical fertilizers from China up till November, down 28.8 percent from 355,023 tons reported from the year before.

Experts in the South said the decrease reflected improvements in overall food supply in the communist country brought on by the new leadership paying more attention to the economy.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s grain, fertilizer imports from China fall sharply


UNICEF: DPRK Preliminary Report of the National Nutrition Survey 2012

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Download the full report (PDF) here.

I have also added it to my “DPRK Economic Statistics Page”.

Here is the Executive Summary:

The last nationwide survey including nutrition indicators was the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) carried out in 2009. It showed that 32.4% of children

The present survey was therefore needed to update the indicators for the population nutritional status. All 10 provinces have been included. Data collection was done from September 17th to October 17th 2012.

The methodology is based on SMART and MICS surveys. It is a clustered, stratified by provinces, two-stage sampling survey. The target population includes children under 5 and their mothers. The sample size per province is 400 children in Pyongyang municipality and 812 children in all other provinces for most indicators.

Chronic malnutrition, despite a modest drop since MICS 2009 (from 32.3% to 27.9% at national level) remains in the ranges labelled ‟medium‟. Stunting has irreversible impact on the development of children as a result on the Country development. The prevention of stunting in early life (starting during or even before pregnancy) as well as the prevention of anaemia in mothers and their children (mainly those under 2 years old) through different multi-sectoral interventions combining nutrition, health, WASH, social protection, food security and agriculture requires more efforts and resources.

The survey also shows a picture of the acute nutritional status of children modestly improved since 2009. The situation is not critical and does not suggest emergency operations. However, attentions need to be paid to such factors as essential medicines, WASH situation and food security which affect the vulnerable children. The presence of acute malnutrition in women is also of concern. Programmes like the management of acute malnutrition at hospital and community levels (CMAM) need to be continued and expanded. Provision of nutritious food for children at institutions should also continue. On-going monitoring of the nutritional situation is important to identify the trends and changes in the situation and bring support as soon as possible when the situation is negatively changing.

In reference to the MDG 1, the achievement in decreasing underweight over time (from 60.6% in 1998 (MICS1 to 15.5% in the actual survey), as well as chronic and acute malnutrition, are primarily due to concerted efforts between the Government, the UN Agencies and others partners in DPRK in addressing the different causes of malnutrition. But malnutrition still remains and requires continued and strengthened interventions on chronic and acute malnutrition in order to have more impact on the underweight prevalence and to ensure a more optimal growth to the children.