N. Korea’s grain imports from China soar last month

SEOUL-- North Korea's grain imports from China showed a more than fivefold surge last month from a year ago, a U.S. broadcaster said Friday.

The North brought in 4,100 tons of grain from China in April, 5.4 times higher than 754 tons a year earlier, said Voice of America, citing Kwon Tae-jin, head of South Korean agricultural think tank GS&J Institute's North Korea and East Asia division.

Of the imports, rice took up the biggest share of 1,542 tons, trailed by corn with 1,506 tons, wheat flour with 750 tons, starch with 304 tons and bean products with 4 tons, the broadcaster said.

The North's combined grain imports from China during the January-April period also marked a spike of 4.3 times to 10,619 tons from a year ago, with wheat flour at the top with 3,403 tons, the broadcaster said.

The North's fertilizer imports from its ally plunged about 40 percent on-year to 87,000 tons during the first four months this year, according to the broadcaster.

The North, however, is unlikely to suffer a fertilizer shortage, albeit not sufficient, this year, the broadcaster quoted Kwon as saying.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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