S. Korea's Rice Consumption Hits Another Low in 2022: Data | Be Korea-savvy

S. Korea’s Rice Consumption Hits Another Low in 2022: Data

This file photo shows the rice counter of a retail outlet in Seoul on Jan. 10, 2022. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows the rice counter of a retail outlet in Seoul on Jan. 10, 2022. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Korea Bizwire)South Koreans’ consumption of rice hit an all-time low in 2022 due mainly to changes in diet and eating habits, data showed Friday.

The average South Korean consumed 56.7 kilograms of rice last year, down 0.4 percent, or 0.2 kilogram, from the previous year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

It is the lowest level since the government began compiling related data in 1962.

Rice is a key staple food for Koreans, but its consumption has been on a steady decline since 1980, when the per capita average annual rice consumption stood at 132.4 kg.

The 2022 figure is half the amount reported 30 years, when it was 112.9 kg, the data also showed.

But the rate of on-year decrease has slowed in recent years from a 3 percent fall in 2019 to 2.5 percent in 2020 and 1.4 percent in 2021, as demand for home meals has risen amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the growth in the number of single-person households, according to the agriculture ministry.

Despite the overall decline, rice consumption by food and beverage manufacturers rose 1.7 percent on-year in 2022 to 691,422 tons.

Of them, those providing cooked rice and ready-to-eat items used 27.2 percent more rice in 2022 from a year earlier, the ministry said.

“We will launch various campaigns to promote rice consumption by letting people know the value of rice,” a ministry official said.

“We will also extend support for the rice-related industries by helping develop new, good rice-based products and promoting exports.”

Meanwhile, South Korea is forecast to run short of around 280,000 tons of rice this year, and the government plans to hold a session to discuss ways to manage supply and demand of the staple grain.

Last year, the country’s rice output came to 3.76 million tons, and the government decided to buy 370,000 tons to prevent oversupply and to stabilize prices.

But the government’s latest assessment showed the country will need 3.67 million tons of rice in 2023, the ministry said.


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