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South Korean Cereal Harvest Forecast to Increase in 2013

16 September 2013

SOUTH KOREA - In the Republic of Korea, the main staple crop, paddy rice, is planted in May-June and harvested in September-October.

The 2013 rice production (in paddy terms) is forecast by FAO at 5.7 million tonnes, some five per cent above the previous year’s below-average output and about 4.4 per cent lower than the previous five-year average.

The increase in 2013 production is mainly attributed to anticipated higher yields, as a result of an increased use of higher yielding variety of seeds.

The average paddy production for last five years (2008-2012) has been about 6 million tonnes (equivalent to 4.4 million tonnes of milled rice).

The area planted to paddy has been declining since early 2000 (see chart below) and particularly in recent years following the official decision to reduce paddy plantings to match the declining domestic rice consumption. In addition to rice, small quantities of barley, maize and other cereals are produced.

Generally, domestic production covers only about 30 per cent of the total utilization of cereals in the country. Very little wheat and maize (for feed) are produced domestically, hence large quantities, of about five million tonnes and over eight million tonnes, respectively, are imported annually. Small amount of rice, about 400 000 tonnes, is imported annually.

The country enjoys relatively low inflation. The latest available official data indicate that nationally the overall consumer price index (CPI) in August 2013 (year-on-year), increased by 1.3 percent.

TheCropSite News Desk

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