Korean pear production is expected to climb for marketing year 2017/18, with exports also on the rise, according to a new GAIN report form the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.
While production area is set to shrink 2.7 per cent to 10,860ha, following a pattern of decreasing planted area seen since 2000, the total pear crop is expected to grow 4 per cent to 247,300 tonnes.
"This is due to an increased yield rate (6.8 per cent per 0.1ha) and an increased number of large pears per tree, which was caused by favourable weather conditions during the fruit growing period during May and early September this marketing year," the USDA reported.
For 2017/18, Korean fresh pear exports are projected to increase to 27,000 tonnes, about 900 tonnes higher than the previous marketing year, mainly due to increased demand in the Vietnamese and US markets.
The US and Taiwan are still the two main export markets for Korean fresh pears with a 78 per cent share. Recently, Korea’s fresh pear exports to Vietnam increased significantly as the demand for high quality imported fruits from Thailand, Japan and Korea grew.
During the previous year, Korea exported 26,167 tonnes of fresh pears, about 13 per cent higher than 2015/16, mainly due to the extra demand in Vietnam and the US.
Korea exported 3,432 tonnes of fresh pears to Vietnam in 2016/17, some 161 per cent higher than the previous marketing year, while exports to the US also increased about 15 per cent to 10,686 tonnes.
"As a result of increased awareness for Korean fresh pears among Asian-American consumers in the western US, exports into the region are expected to increase gradually in the coming years," the USDA concluded.