By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL/BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- China has been proactively consulting with South Korea to help ease its supply shortage of urea water solution needed in diesel vehicles, Beijing's foreign ministry said Tuesday.
South Korea has been grappling with a shortage of urea water solution in recent weeks as Beijing last month tightened exports of urea and other raw materials amid a coal supply shortage. Coal is the main feedstock for urea.
"China highly appreciates South Korea's demand for (urea) and has been proactively negotiating with South Korea to resolve the issue," the ministry said in a written answer to Yonhap News Agency's request.
"China's adjustment of the list of the trading items subject to inspection, including urea, was a necessary measure to improve their management, not targeted at a particular country."
Seoul officials have been stepping up diplomatic efforts to expedite the customs procedure for urea to prevent its impact on the logistics sectors.
While 18,000 tons of urea contracted by South Korean companies are currently on hold in China, South Korea has requested to expedite the process for the pre-shipment inspections on 7,000 tons of urea in particular, a foreign ministry official said.
The amount would be enough to produce at least one month of urea water solution for vehicles, according to industry officials.
To ease the supply shortage, the country plans to import 200 tons of urea from Vietnam next week and bring in 27,000 liters of urea water solution from Australia this week via military aircraft.
In addition, embassies and trade promotion agencies abroad have been contacting other countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, to import an additional amount of urea, the official said.
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