A record-breaking year for soybean production in South Korea led to a $6bn increase in nonfermentation soy products exports in the year to March, the country’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported on Friday.
According to the FAO, South Korea’s soybean industry grew by 12.7% to 4.2 billion tonnes, while nonferment soy products grew by 5.2% to 3.4 billion tonnes.
South Korea exports soybean products to the US, Japan, and Australia, but has yet to expand production beyond its current supply of about 500,000 tonnes per year.
The boom in exports was due to a boom in soybean prices, with the price of a metric tonne of soybean rising to a record $6,300 in October last year.
The FAO said soybean exports grew 8.7 times the annual average during the same period last year, which was the third highest increase in four years.
According the FAOs statistics, the year-on-year increase in the value of nonferments soy products exported was driven by exports of rice and soybean meal.
The rice sector accounted for 30% of total exports, while soybeanmeal exports increased 14% to $3.1bn.
Other exports to the Asia-Pacific region include beef, pork, and chicken.
The export of rice was the biggest export of any sector, accounting for 12% of exports in 2015.
The soybean sector was the second biggest exporter of beef and the third largest exporter for pork, the FAOA said.
According To The Korea Times, South Korean exports of non-fermented rice rose to $2.6bn, which is nearly double the value from 2014, when the value was $1.5bn.
The annual value of rice exports was $632m in 2015 after $1bn in 2014.
South Korea’s exports of beef, the second-biggest export, increased 8.4% to a total of $2,037m, the report said.
The beef exports increased 13.4 times the value in 2014, while pork exports increased by 3.3 times the previous year.
Meanwhile, exports of pork increased 12.1 times the 2014 value to $1,039m, while exports of chicken increased 11.7-fold to $965m.