Republic of Korea

GIEWS Country Brief: Republic of Korea 17-February-2016

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Record high yields boost 2015 rice production

  • Cereal imports in 2015/16 forecast to increase slightly from last year’s record level

Record high yields boost 2015 rice production

Harvesting of the 2015 rice crop was completed last October and official estimates put output at 5.8 million tonnes, 2 percent above the 2014 level. Paddy crops benefitted from favourable weather conditions, which boosted yields to an all‑time record of 7.2 tonnes per hectare. The productivity gain more than offset a contraction in plantings, as farmers continued to substitute rice with more profitable crops. In addition to rice, average small quantities of barley, maize and other cereals were also produced in 2015.

Cereal imports in 2015/16 forecast to increase slightly from last year’s record level

Total cereal imports in the 2015/16 marketing year (October/September) are forecast at 15 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s high level. This reflects higher wheat imports, which are projected to increase by 9 percent from the 2014/15 reduced level, to 4.3 million tonnes. Maize imports during 2015/16 are set to remain close to last year’s level of 10.2 million tonnes. Rice imports are forecast to reach 440 000 tonnes in calendar year 2016.