DPRK fertilizer imports 2013

UPDATE 1 (2013-5-27): The DPRK has significantly its imports of Chinese fertilizers. According to Yonhap:

North Korea’s fertilizer imports from China jumped nearly five-fold last month from a year earlier, a report showed Monday, pointing to Pyongyang’s efforts to increase agricultural produce.

The North brought in 91,318 tons of Chinese fertilizer in April, compared with 15,218 tons a year earlier, according to the report released by Kwon Tae-jin, an analyst at the Korea Rural Economic Institute.

For the January-April period, the total fertilizer imports from China, the North’s closest provider of resources, came to 121,109 tons, 4.6 times more than those shipped in for the same four months last year, according to the report based on data from the Korea International Trade Association.

The sharp increase in fertilizer imports seems unexpected, given that China is imposing high-rate export customs in order to limit outbound shipments of Chinese fertilizer, Kwon said.

“The increase this year shows that the North is putting top priority on boosting productivity in the agricultural sector as well as that the conditions for fertilizer production in the North Korea are in a bad shape,” the analyst said.

The report also showed that the North imported 25,850 tons of grains like rice and corn from China last month, only half of what it brought in from China a year earlier.

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N. Korea’s fertilizer imports from China jump 5-fold in April

Original Post (2013-4-30): According to Yonhap, the DPRK has increased its imports of Chinese fertilizers.

According to the report by the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI), Pyongyang bought 29,791 tons of chemical fertilizers from its neighbor, up 3.6 fold from the 6,530 tons it imported for the same three month period in 2012.

It said for March alone, the country brought in 28,725 tons of fertilizer.

“Normally the North imports fertilizers in April,” said Kwon Tae-jin, a research fellow at KREI. He said the fact that it bought so much ahead of when it usually imports the product means Pyongyang may be interested in improving farm output.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had said earlier in the year that the North needs to concentrate on farming and light industries in 2013 because they directly impact the everyday lives of people.

The expert, in addition, speculated that a surge in imports could be the result of problems in local fertilizer production.

The latest findings based on data provided by Korea International Trade Association, meanwhile, showed the North importing 54,178 tons of grain from China in the first quarter, an increase of 31.6 percent from the year before.

Total imports as measured in dollars also jumped 39.2 percent on-year to US$24.71 million from $17.75 million in the first three months of last year.

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N. Korea’s imports of Chinese fertilizers jump in Q1: report


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