SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Statistics Korea (KOSTAT) has forecast South Korea rice production for marketing year 2021-22 to increase 11% over last year’s total.

KOSTAT estimates output to reach 3.88 million tonnes, which is up 1.6% from its previous projection in early September. If realized, it will be the largest crop since 2018 when 3.86 million tonnes were harvested.

It said the increase in production is driven by higher yield (up 9.8%) along with a slight increase (0.8%) in harvested area.

Consequently, the 2021-22 stocks-to-use ratio is expected to rise to 36.9%.

The 2021 yield (5,299 kg per hectare) is forecast to be the highest since 2016.

Despite the slight increase in harvested area in 2021-22, acreage devoted to rice in South Korea has declined significantly in the last 10 years, falling from 854,000 hectares in 2011 to 732,000 this year.