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Country Briefs

  Republic of Korea

Reference Date: 13-April-2022


  1. Production prospects favourable for 2022 wheat crops

  2. Average cereal production obtained in 2021

  3. Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 marketing year forecast at above‑average level

Production prospects favourable for 2022 minor winter crops

The 2022 minor wheat and barley crops, for harvest in June, are growing under conductive weather conditions. Production prospects are favourable reflecting a near‑average area planted and expectations of above‑average yields due to an adequate availability of agricultural inputs, including irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides and high quality seeds. As of late March, remote sensing data shows above‑average vegetation conditions throughout the country (VCI map), inferring to favourable yield prospects for the winter crops.

Average cereal production obtained in 2021

The 2021 harvest concluded in October 2021 and the aggregate cereal production is estimated at average level of 5.4 million tonnes.

Paddy production, which accounts for the bulk of the country’s cereal output, is officially estimated at an average level of 5.2 million tonnes. This is due to above‑average yields supported by favourable weather conditions and a small increase in the area planted year on year. The production of minor winter cereal crops, mainly barley and wheat, is also estimated at a near‑average level.

Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 marketing year forecast at above‑average level

The country relies on imports, mostly wheat and maize, to satisfy its domestic demand of cereals as local production covers only one‑fifth of requirements. Total cereal import requirements in the 2021/22 marketing year (October/September) are forecast at an above‑average level of 16.6 million tonnes. Imports of maize, that account for most of the total cereal purchases, are projected at a high level of 11.8 million tonnes, driven by the strong demand of the feed industry amid rising livestock numbers and the limited availability of more affordable international feed grade wheat. Wheat imports are forecast at an above‑average level of 4.3 million tonnes, reflecting the strong demand of high quality wheat for milling and of low quality wheat for feed. Rice imports in calendar year 2022 are forecast at 410 000 tonnes.

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