A report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revealed that Korea's total avocado imports increased 8 per cent to 655 tonnes in 2007 from 610 tonnes the previous year, at a value of US$2.08m.
US exports to the country fell from 417 tonnes in 2006 to just 161 tonnes, attributed to a high unit price that jumped 26 per cent between 2006 and 2007.
For the first time, Mexico became the largest avocado exporter to Korea, shipping 383 tonnes in 2007, the USDA reported. New Zealand, the only other country to export avocados to Korea, shipped just over 100 tonnes.
The demand for avocados has grown in Korea thanks to the popularity of fast food chain stores and the introduction of international dishes such as curry and guacamole. Fresh avocado is also popularly used in health and beauty treatment.