South Korea to Set Up Grain-Trading Company in Chicago in 2011

South Korea, Asia’s second-biggest grain buyer, plans to establish a trading business in Chicago this year as part of government efforts to ensure stable food supplies over the long term, according to a state-run company.

The new business may supply about 4 million metric tons of grain, including corn and wheat, or about 30 percent of the nation’s annual imports, by 2020, said Lee Pil Hyung, head of the grain-business team at Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corp. Initial imports in the second half may be about 100,000 tons, Lee said by phone from Seoul today.

“We are aiming to set up the company in the first half,” Lee said. Private companies may participate in the U.S. entity, with partners being finalized in about late February, Lee said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at

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