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Posco International aims to become global food company

Posco International’s grain export terminal in Ukraine (Posco International)
Posco International’s grain export terminal in Ukraine (Posco International)

Posco International aims to expand its food business to become one of the world’s top 10 food trading companies, amid growing concerns over rising food prices, the South Korean trading company said Wednesday.

The company cited the FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices of commonly traded food commodities. According to the food price index, the figure for March marked the 10th consecutive monthly increase, increasing 2.1 percent from the month before.

According to Posco International, Korea’s grain self-sufficiency rate is only 21 percent, as the country produces 4.5 million tons of grain in a year and imports about 16 million tons annually to satisfy demand.

Aside from rice, the country is heavily reliant on imports of other staples such as wheat, corn and beans.

Countries that have low self-sufficiency rates are inevitably affected by the production levels of exporting countries and by price fluctuations, Posco International explained.

The trade arm of Korea’s leading steelmaker said it plans to increase the trading volume of grain from the current 8 million tons to 25 million tons by 2030, and achieve sales of 10 trillion won.

To meet this goal, the company said it will strengthen its value chain by linking farming, storage, processing and transportation, and create profit to increase its presence in the global grain market.

“By expanding our food business, we will gain global competitiveness that can level with major grain companies, and create profit and contribute to food security,” a Posco International official said in a press release.

As part of its efforts, the company has established a grain procurement corporation in the world’s major grain belt, Ukraine, and also a grain export terminal, Posco International said.

The company also runs a palm oil business in Indonesia and a rice processing complex in Myanmar, it added.

By Jo He-rim (