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Matthew Jones



Avocado imports surge in South Korea

Volume rises sixfold in the space of six years, with plenty of room to grow consumption

Avocado imports surge in South Korea

New Zealand avocados on sale in Korea as part of a promotion

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South Korean avocado import volumes will be up by close to 2,000 tonnes in 2017, according to a report from the Korea Herald.

Citing figures from the Korea Customs Service, the report suggested imports would total close to 5,000 tonnes this year, up from 2,915 tonnes in 2016. Last year’s volume represented a sixfold increase on imports in 2010, albeit off a low base of 457 tonnes.

Leading Korean retail chain Lotte Mart revealed avocados now rank sixth on the list of most popular imported fruits sold through its stores, up from 11th in 2015.

Leading avocado suppliers are not overlooking the potential of the Korean market.  Exporters from North and South America are moving to establish programmes with distributors in the Asian nation.

Meanwhile, Martin Napper of Avanza, New Zealand’s largest avocado exporter to Asia, said South Korea would soon supersede Japan as his country’s largest avocado market (by volume) outside of Australia.

"Korea is a promising market because it likes large fruit down to size 16," Napper told Asiafruit. "Current avocado consumption in Korea is only 60g per head, per annum. If consumption reaches 500g per head then this is a 4.5m tray market."

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