According to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture, the production of rice in Japan is expected to dip to 7.3 million tonnes in the marketing year 2023-24. Extremely high temperatures and little rain are expected to lower yield and quantity, falling from a 7.48 million high in the previous year.
Rice produced in Japan is almost entirely Japonica short-grain rice. Rice production is country-wide and in most regions, harvest is done during September and October. FAS Post Tokyo said that industry contacts estimate that the heat stress will lower yield and quality nationwide, resulting in increases in empty grains, smaller grains, chalky kernels, cracks in kernels, and high protein levels.
FAS expects rice consumption to dip slightly to 8.13 million tonnes in 2023-24, down 50,000 tonnes from the previous marketing year, based on projected weak demand for table rice. The area harvested is forecast to decline to 1.47 million hectares, down from 1.497 million hectares in 2022-23.
“Rice area has been on the decline over the years as aging farmers reduce or give up farming. Production shifts from table rice to feed rice helped ameliorate the loss in rice production and area in recent years,” said the FAS.
Corn prices softening up are expected to boost feed demand and imports in 2023-24. From 15 million tonnes in 2022-23, corn imports are projected to reach 15.3 million tonnes in 2023-24, satisfying 15.35 million tonnes of total consumption. The limited production of Japan is forecast at 11,600 tonnes which is a 24% increase from the previous year on higher planted area.
On the other hand, wheat production is projected to increase by 6% from the previous year at 1.12 million tonnes, based on higher harvested area and a yield recovery in Hokkaido, accounting for over 60% of production. Total consumption is seen at 6.25 million tonnes, down from 6.3 million tonnes in 2022-23 with imports at 5.45 million tonnes.