This year is expected to see the poorest rice harvest in 32 years due to summer typhoons and shrunken acreage. Statistics Korea on Monday said the year's rice output will amount to 4.07 million tons, down 3.5 percent from last year's 4.22 million tons.
That is the lowest since 1980, when the country produced a mere 3.55 million tons due to cold-weather damage.
Many paddies wilted in the wake of two massive typhoons in late August, Statistics Korea added. Another factor was that rice acreage fell 0.5 percent (5,000 ha) to 849,000 ha this year.
But the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said this will not affect the supply of rice since rice consumption for next year is estimated to reach 4.01 million tons, 60,000 tons less than this year's production.
Per capita rice consumption halved from 132.4 kg in 1980 to 71.2 kg this year, Statistics Korea said.