New Zealand-grown kiwifruit and Chilean table grapes are two categories enjoying substantial growth in the South Korean retail market as a result of free trade agreements (FTA), according to local media outlets.
Korea Bizwire has reported that sales volumes of imported kiwifruit at leading Korean retailer Emart rose by over 90 per cent between January and August 2016, compared with the corresponding period of 2015.
An Emart official told the publication that there was a direct correlation between the increased sales and lower prices, largely brought about by the Korea-New Zealand FTA. Since the trade pact came into force late last year, the tariff on New Zealand kiwifruit has fallen from 45 per cent to 30 per cent.
Coupled with a growing domestic production base, the tariff reduction has seen the price of a multi pack of kiwifruit (8-10 pieces) fall 22 per cent to US$6.24, compared with prices last year. The tarrif will be completely eliminated by 2020.
Chilean suppliers have been enjoying the benefits of their own FTA with the Asian nation since 2004, with the tariff on table grapes eliminated two years ago. The result has been a sharp increase in annual import averages, which have climbed from 6,825 tonnes of grapes before the FTA (2000 – 2003) to 31,286 tonnes between 2004-2015.
The report suggested there have also been significant sales gains for Australian cherries and Phillipine pineapples, among other products, since FTA’s came into force with these countries within the last 10 years.