(Source: Xinhua) 

South Korea's rice output hit a 39-year low this year, keeping a downward trend for four straight years, statistical office data showed Tuesday.

Rice production was 3,744,000 tons in 2019, down 3.2 percent from last year's output of 3,868,000 tons, according to Statistics Korea.

It was the lowest since 1980, continuing to decline for the fourth consecutive year amid the bad weather conditions and the reduced cultivation areas.

The cultivation area for rice fell 1.1 percent over the year to 729,814 hectares this year.

Typhoon Lingling hit the local farms in September when rice begins to ripen, negatively influencing the rice output, the agency noted.

Meanwhile, per-capita annual rice consumption reached a record low of 61 kilograms last year.

Rice, a main staple food for South Koreans, has been on a steady decline for decades due to the change in eating habits.