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S. Korea’s Imports of Chinese Urea Go Without Hitch: Industry Ministry

South Korea has imported urea from China normally and the domestic supply remains stable, Seoul’s industry ministry said Thursday, dismissing concerns of a shortage over some exporters’ recent cut in shipments of the industry substance.

Some Chinese urea exporters announced a plan to reduce their export volume, though the South Korean government confirmed that Beijing has not implemented any official curbs.

To check the supply situation, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held a meeting in Seoul on Thursday with Lotte Fine Chemical Co., several other importers and major retailers, and related agencies, including Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency.

Importers here said during the meeting that they have signed new contracts with Chinese firms without a hitch and no supply issues have been reported.

South Korea has enough urea stock for 70 days, and stocks for about 2 1/2 months are to be imported by November in phases in accordance with contracts, according to the ministry.

“The urea supply situation within China has also improved, and any further restrictions seem unlikely,” a KOTRA official said.

But some consumers have stockpiled urea solutions, pushing up prices and causing them to be out of stock at some retail malls, as South Korea experienced a serious urea shortage crisis in 2021 following China’s export restrictions.

Urea solution is a key fluid used in diesel vehicles to cut emissions.

“Different from the 2021 case, we now have proper volume and a response system. We’ve secured alternative import channels, such as the Southeast Asian and Middle East countries,” a ministry official said.

South Korea imports nearly 90 percent of its urea for diesel vehicles and other industrial purposes from China, though the proportion of Chinese urea for fertilizers came to 17.4 percent.

Source : Yonhap News