GIEWS Country Brief: Japan 28-October-2015

News and Press Release
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  • Aggregate cereal production in 2015 forecast at an average level

  • Cereal imports in 2015/16 marketing year expected to increase slightly

Aggregate cereal production in 2015 forecast at an average level

Harvesting of the 2015 rice crop is nearing completion. FAO’s latest forecast puts this year’s paddy output at 10.7 million tonnes, down slightly from 2014 average level. The decline is mainly the result of a marginal decrease in plantings reflecting lower crop prices. The passage of tropical storm “Etau” in September caused localized floods and landslides across eastern parts of the country, causing minor damage to paddy crop.

The 2015, mostly irrigated, wheat crop, harvested in July, is estimated by FAO at 860 000 tonnes, slightly above last year’s good output. The small increase reflects a small expansion in area planted, as well as estimated higher yields following overall favourable weather during the growing season. However, below-average rains and lower availability of water supplies in parts of Hokkaido Island and prefectures of Tochigi, Saitama and Akita, resulted in slightly lower yields in these areas.

Cereal imports in 2015/16 marketing year (April/March) forecast close to average levels

Total cereal imports in the 2015/16 marketing year (April/March) are forecast at a near-average level of 24.5 million tonnes, covering approximately 60 percent of total domestic cereal utilization. Annually, the country imports large quantities of maize (which is not produced domestically), around 15.2 million tonnes and, on average, about 6 million tonnes of wheat. By contrast, relatively smaller volumes of rice, about 700 000 tonnes, are imported annually.