Republic of Korea

GIEWS Country Brief: Republic of Korea 23-June-2020



  • Plantings of 2020 paddy crop to continue declining

  • Below-average cereal production estimated for 2019

  • Cereal import requirements in 2019/20 marketing year forecast above five-year average

Plantings of 2020 paddy crop to continue declining

Planting of the 2020 paddy crop, for harvest in September and October, is progressing at a normal pace supported by favourable weather conditions and ample supplies of irrigation water. Overall, the 2020 paddy output is preliminarily forecast at a below-average level, reflecting reduced plantings, as paddy land will continue to be shifted to more profitable crops or to other purposes, such as housing and constructions.

The 2020 maize crop, to be harvested by the end of August, is growing under generally favourable weather conditions. As of mid-May, remote sensing data indicated above-average vegetation conditions (see ASI map) in the main producing areas.

The area planted is estimated at an above-average level, driven by strong demand by the feed industry.
Harvesting of the 2020 winter crops, mainly barley and wheat, will conclude at the end of June and the outputs are forecast at near-average levels of 125 000 and 30 000 tonnes, respectively.

Below-average cereal production estimated in 2019

The 2019 season was completed at the end of October 2019. The aggregate cereal output is estimated at 5.3 million tonnes, about 8 percent below the five-year average.

Paddy production is officially estimated at 5 million tonnes, about 10 percent below the five-year average. The planted area with paddy crops has been steadily declining since 2002, as farmers have progressively switched to alternative crops, in part reflecting a decrease in rice consumption. The production of the minor cereal crops, including maize, barley and wheat, is estimated at near-average levels.