The Korea Herald


Korea faces oversupply of rice

By Chung Joo-won

Published : Feb. 2, 2015 - 20:52

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South Korean workers stack bags of rice. (Yonhap) South Korean workers stack bags of rice. (Yonhap)
Korea is expected to see an oversupply of rice this year due to a five-year high in output and a continued fall in demand, officials said Monday.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said the self-sufficiency rate for rice would likely reach 97 percent in 2015.

The ministry data showed that the country’s overall output of rice jumped 0.3 percent from a year ago, to some 4.24 million tons in 2014. The nation also has to import at least 408,700 tons of rice every year under a special agreement with the World Trade Organization.

In contrast to the high output of rice, the nation’s rice demand has rapidly dwindled, amid increased consumption of foreign food.

Last year’s annual consumption of rice per capita fell 3.1 percent on-year to a record low of 65.1 kilograms.

Ministry officials expected that the problem would worsen as consumption of rice continues to drop.

By Chung Joo-won (