SEJONG, Nov.19 (Korea Bizwire) – Even as imports of bananas and pineapples falter, mangos and grapefruits are seeing a leap in popularity. Still, the total quantity of imports and domestic distribution of mangos and grapefruits is significantly lower than that of bananas, but domestic demand is increasing rapidly, placing them as popular fruits.
According to the Korea Rural Economic Institute, imports of bananas and pineapples as of the third quarter had slightly decreased compared to last year, while imports of mangos and grapefruits showed a sharp increase.
The accumulated quantity of imports of bananas as of September was 272,000 tons, which was a 1.6 percent decrease compared to the same period last year (277,000 tons).
The Korea Rural Economic Institute says that the decrease is due to the distribution of imported bananas with residual pesticides 10 to 100 times higher than standards. In addition, the drought in the Philippines may have been a factor contributing to the decrease in imports.
Imports of pineapples also dropped 5.6 percent from 69,000 tons to 65,000 tons.
On the other hand, as domestic consumers’ preference for mangos rose and the consumption of various processed mango products increased, imports increased 30.2 percent from the 9,235 tons last year.
In 1995, mangos were a very rare fruit in Korea, but as the number of consumers who tasted the fruit abroad increased, domestic demand expanded.
Domestic demand for grapefruits also increased, pushing imports up from 17,000 tons to 22,000 tons (28.5 percent).
Grapefruits are abundant in vitamin C, and with only 30㎉ per 100 grams, they are a healthy choice, drawing the attention of consumers. As the demand for fresh grapefruits as well as processed products such as juices has increased, imports of the fruits have also risen.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)