China halts customs procedures for urea exports to S. Korea

Chinese urea-halt

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) — China has halted customs procedures for urea exports to South Korea, prompting the Seoul government to look into the cause, officials said Sunday.

China’s customs authorities recently blocked the export of Chinese urea to South Korean companies, but have yet to respond to Seoul’s request for an explanation, according to the government and industry officials.

“We are convening a related emergency meeting and looking into the situation but the Chinese government has not given its official position,” a finance ministry official told Yonhap News Agency. “We are checking and monitoring our urea solution inventory.”

A joint meeting involving the industry, finance and foreign ministries was held Thursday to discuss the issue, and another meeting is scheduled for Monday.

Sources said the government is assuming the Chinese action was taken in consideration of its domestic supply and demand, not as a formal export control measure.

South Korea suffered major disruptions to its logistics networks in 2021 after China restricted its urea exports amid a trade dispute with Australia.

South Korea’s inventory of urea is enough to last about three months, taking into consideration its planned imports from Vietnam, Japan and other countries excluding China.

china halts customs procedures for urea exports to s. korea

Boxes of urea solution are placed at a gas station. (Yonhap)

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