Produce firms must now pay drivers 10 per cent more to ship their consignments, one importer told Fruitnet, after industrial action by some 15,000 truckers over the high cost of fuel and low pay left ports and inland container terminals at breaking point.
“The strike last week has really hurt importers because now it costs more to move our produce,” he said.
The price hike comes as Korea’s fruit importers deal with the adverse effects of a strengthening US dollar against the Korean won, currently at US$1 to 1033 won. “This is causing headaches for importers,” a source said.
Nevertheless, demand for imported US fruit remains strong despite higher prices, and distributors are currently enjoying firm California cherry sales.
The recent protests over US beef imports have had no impact on sales of imported US fruit, the importer said.