South Korean shipments of two hybrid Unshu oranges have gained access to the US mainland following an amendment to importation regulations by the USDA.
Only commercial shipments of Shiranuhui and Setoka citrus can be imported, and will have to comply to the same requirements as shipments of Unshu oranges from South Korea.
The USDA expects the imports to have little to no effect on domestic production and trade.
“Easy-peel, sweet, juicy, seedless mandarin varieties, including Unshu oranges, are gaining popularity in the United States,” stated the USDA. “The US does not commercially produce Unshu oranges, but does produce various similar mandarin varieties … given the fact that fresh Unshu orange imports by the US are predominantly supplied by Japan and the Republic of Korea, we expect any product displacement would be largely borne by Japanese Unshu orange imports.”
Korea exports just 0.6 per cent of its Unshu oranges, with 743 tonnes exported to the US in 2012.