GIEWS Country Brief: Republic of Korea 25-July-2012
Rains in July provided relief to crops affected by prolonged dry spell
The country’s main crop, paddy rice, sown during May to June, is currently in the growing stage. Following a normal start of the rains in April, at the beginning of the 2012 agricultural season, a protracted dry spell set in stretching for four dekads, which has negatively impacted on planting operations. Rains resumed normal to above-normal patterns since mid-June throughout the country, but may have arrived too late to avoid reductions in the area planted and yields of early planted crops.
Although official production forecasts are not yet available, rice production is projected to decrease to 5.4 million tonnes, down by about 4 percent compared to 2011, reflecting the negative impact of the dry spell as well a slight decrease in plantings, following, the government initiative to reduce paddy plantings by 40 000 hectares by 2013, due to successive large harvests. In line with this reduction in plantings, paddy production in 2011 was estimated at 5.6 million tonnes, down by about 3 percent from the previous year’s output.
The average paddy production for last five years (2007-2011) has been about 6 million tonnes (equivalent to 4.5 million tonnes of milled rice).
In aggregate, the cereal output for 2012 is forecast at some 5.6 million tonnes, some 3 percent lower than the previous year’s below-average output.
Very little wheat and maize (for feed) is produced domestically, hence large quantities, of over 4 million tonnes and over 8 million tonnes, respectively, are imported annually. Very small amount of rice, about 350 000 tonnes, is imported annually.
The latest available official data indicate that nationally the overall consumer price inflation in June 2012 (the year-on-year increase), increased by 2.2 percent.