South Korea has purchased the country's first shipment of biotech corn for food purposes. As of late February, the Korean Corn Processing Industry Association has bought 697,000 metric tons, 27.44 million bushels, of genetically modified corn for April — August shipment at $318.23 — $337.33 per metric ton, cost and freight. Most of the corn will be shipped from the United States, according to the exporters and KCPIA officials.

“This is a significant step forward in terms of broadening acceptance of GM crops for food use in Korea,” said Byong Min, director of the U.S. Grains Council's Korea office.

Min said the remarkably high tonnage amount is due to buyers anticipating a rise in corn prices. “Buyers seriously considered using GM corn way before Korea bought its first cargoes at the end of January,” Min said.