Japan’s Wheat Output Seen Up 15% by UN’s FAO on Ample Rainfall

Japan, the biggest buyer of wheat from the U.S., increased domestic production by 15 percent last year as ample rainfall boosted yields, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said.

Japan produced 855,000 metric tons of wheat in 2012, up from 746,000 tons in 2011, the Rome-based UN agency wrote in a country report on its website dated yesterday. Grain imports in the 2012-13 marketing year may be at a “normal level” of about 25.17 million tons. The country usually imports about 15 million tons of corn annually because it doesn’t grow the crop domestically, according to the report.

“Production of wheat covers only a small portion of the domestic consumption requirements, therefore the country imports large amounts of wheat,” the FAO said.

Japan’s rice harvest was pegged at 10.54 million tons, little changed from a year earlier, the FAO said. Barley production was estimated at 172,000 tons, also steady with 2011.

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