S. Korea calls for Russia's cooperation in urea solution imports

김승연 / 2021-11-23 17:01:23
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S Korea-Russia-urea shortage
▲ Urea crunch People purchase urea water solution at a gas station in Uiwang, 25 kilometers south of Seoul, on Nov. 16, 2021, amid the prolonged nationwide urea shortage. (Yonhap)

S Korea-Russia-urea shortage

S. Korea calls for Russia's cooperation in urea solution imports

SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday requested Russia's cooperation in helping secure urea or urea solution to address the supply shortage of the key material used in diesel cars, Seoul's industry ministry said.

Deputy Industry Minister Jeong Dae-jin made the call during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vasiliy Shpak, in Seoul, as South Korea is grappling with its supply shortage after China imposed export curbs on urea in October to ease its own domestic supply bottlenecks.

In the meeting with Shpak, Jeong "explained the difficulties South Korea has been facing in the domestic supply of urea and urea solution, and asked for the Russian government's attention and cooperation as a key producer and exporter of urea," the ministry said in a release.

Seoul has been trying to secure urea or urea solution from other countries through imports, such as Vietnam, Mexico and elsewhere, and making efforts to diversify the import sources.

It has negotiated with Beijing to have some 18,700 tons of urea delivered under already-signed contracts with Chinese exporters, and the first shipment arrived early Tuesday.

In an interagency meeting on the urea supply shortage, the government reassured the domestic supply of urea solution has been on a stable level, citing the amount of the material being stored and sold at key gas stations is recovering.

But most of the gas stations across the country are still experiencing serious shortages, with the website run by South Korea's state oil company showing about 17 percent of gas stations across the country have run out of inventories.

Aside from the urea issue, the deputy ministers also discussed expanding economic cooperation between the two countries, in areas including consumer electronics and semiconductors, the ministry said.

(END)

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