Russia expects to start supplying grain to North Korea this year - minister
MOSCOW. June 27 (Interfax) - Russia expects to start supplying grain to North Korea this year, said Alexander Kozlov, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and Co-Chair of the Russian-North Korean Intergovernmental Commission.
"Our companies are negotiating possible grain supplies this year," Kozlov said during a meeting of the co-chairs of the commission on Tuesday.
Prospects for meat trade are also being discussed. "We expect that in time this will become a significant niche for bilateral trade between Russia and North Korea," Kozlov said.
Commenting on environmental partnership, Kozlov said he hoped consultations would be held in August between experts from the two countries in the framework of the Convention on Migratory Species and that a list of their species would be agreed upon.
"Another important area is the conservation of the Amur tiger. The exchange of modern data on its population in North Korea will make a major contribution to the evolution of accurate data about the species. We will be grateful to our Korean colleagues for such information," Kozlov said.
Grain market expert Alexander Korbut told Interfax that the North Korean market was of interest to Russian grain suppliers.
"It is logistically close to the Far East and Transbaikal, and volumes of purchases from other countries are not usually very large. This creates potential for additional sales of our grain," he said.
Korbut said there were good prospects for deliveries to North Korea, above all for wheat and barley. "There might also be good potential for cereals, as well as for corn. Although the volume of corn production in the Far East is small, there will be enough to export. This will create a further incentive to expand its production in the Far Eastern regions," he said.
He said that for now, Russia was shipping grain to North Korea as humanitarian aid. "But there have also been small one-off deliveries," Korbut said.