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Country Briefs

  Republic of Korea

Reference Date: 07-February-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Favourable prospects for 2019 minor winter crops

  2. Aggregate cereal production in 2018 estimated below average

  3. Paddy production in 2018 forecast at below-average level

  4. Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 forecast slightly above the five-year average

Favourable prospects for 2019 minor winter crops

Prospects for the 2019 minor winter crops, mainly barley and wheat, to be harvested by June, are favourable. Spatially and temporally well-distributed rains since the start of the cropping season in October 2018 supported planting operations and benefited moisture conditions for crop development up to present.

Aggregate cereal production in 2018 estimated below average

The 2018 cropping season which concluded in October 2018 and aggregate cereal production is estimated at 5.4 million tonnes, about 7 percent below the five-year average.

The 2018 paddy crop is estimated at 5.2 million tonnes, with a slight decrease from the already below-average level in 2017, due to steady contractions in plantings since 2002. The reductions of planted areas reflect the Government’s efforts to discourage paddy cultivation in response to a gradual decline in rice consumption.

The 2018 production of maize and of minor winter cereal crops, mainly barley and wheat, remained at near average levels.

Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 forecast slightly above the five-year average

The country relies strongly on imports to satisfy its domestic demand as local production covers about one-fifth of the total national cereal consumption. Total cereal import requirements in the 2018/19 marketing year (October/September) are forecast to slightly increase to 15.2 million tonnes, about 4 percent above the five-year average, due to higher demand of wheat and rice.

Wheat imports are forecast at 4.5 million tonnes, 8 percent above the five-year average, owing to increased demand for wheat for consumption and feed use. Imports of rice are forecast above the five-year average at 480 000 tonnes. Maize import requirements, which account for the largest share of the total imports, are forecast at 10.2 million tonnes, close to the five-year average, reflecting sustained demand from the feed industry.

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