The Korea Feed Association (KFA) has requested that the United States draw down ethanol production because of worries that food and animal feed supplies will diminish later in the year.
KFA is the largest importer of corn and soybeans in South Korea, according to Bloomberg. The association said producers have enough feed to keep supplies going until November but worry that rising prices and drought will cause a shortage.
"Purchases from South America and Eastern Europe aren't a solution, and substitution is also not possible as most grain and oilseed prices are surging," said Kim Chi Young, director for KFA's purchasing division, in an interview with Bloomberg.
Prices for soybeans hit their highest level since 2008 on Wednesday. Forecasters expect the drought to remain in the Midwest for the next 10 days, according to Fox Business.
Rising corn prices have already taken a toll on ethanol, with production dropping 2.3 percent last week to the lowest level since the Department of Energy began recording production in 2010, according to Bloomberg.