September 07, 2019 08:26
This year's Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving comes unusually early, and with it come changes in seasonal gifts.
Retailers who find difficulty supplying traditional autumn fruits like apples and pears are poised to sell gifts of summer fruits and health foods instead.
This is partly due to extremely high prices of autumnal fruits, most notably apples and pears.
Fully ripe seasonal apples usually hit the market in early September, but if they are harvested early to meet Chuseok sales, the quality goes down.
Pears will also be very expensive after a poor harvest due to extremes of weather this year. The average wholesale price for a 15 kg box of pears was W75,200 this month, more than double last year's (US$1=W1,196).
As a result, summer fruits such as peaches, melons, apple mangoes and Muscat grapes are filling up the gift boxes. These fruits are difficult to get after mid-September.
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