An historic event took place in Singapore between the United States and North Korea earlier this week and farmers could, eventually, be a beneficiary. President Donald Trump said after the summit, “Chairman Kim (Jong Un) and I just signed a joint statement in which he reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
What does the announcement mean for U.S. agriculture? Dr. Chris Hurt, Ag Economics professor at Purdue University, says, “I think the most important thing is a reduction in geopolitical tensions. I think what that means is probably a bit more stability for markets and probably slightly higher prices.”
He adds that it’s still very early and the details will be key, but U.S. agriculture should have a positive outlook on this agreement.
“Food is going to be one of the very important parts of any economic rebuilding for them, and that puts the United States in strong shape to help supply that.”
Hurt said that North Korea has about half the population of South Korea, one of the United States’ major buyers of food products. He says this means that while North Korea wouldn’t crack the top 5 export markets, it would certainly be a welcome addition to the existing markets we do have.
“We’re a major surplus production country, and we are looking for business every place in the world. Certainly they have a need for food and agricultural products, and we have the ability to supply those.”