August 09, 2011 12:55
Fruit prices are likely to soar after typhoon Muifa laid waste to fruit orchards that had already been damaged by torrential rains and scorching heat.
Naju, South Jeolla Province, which takes up 20 percent of pear production in the country, is one of the worst-hit regions. According to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, over 10 percent of pear producers saw their fruit fall prematurely due to extreme weather, with some farms losing up to 70 percent.
The Korea Rural Economic Institute predicted pear production will drop 23 percent this year due to the unusual weather, and this is likely to result in skyrocketing price of pears when demand increases ahead of Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving next month.
Apple growers also sustained huge damage. Jangsu in North Jeolla Province, a big apple producing region, saw 20 percent of apples fall prematurely.
A staffer with supermarket chain Lotte Mart said, "Chuseok falls 10 days earlier than previous years, but production is poor this year. Securing fruit supply has got harder because of the heavy rains and typhoons, and we're expecting a 30-percent hike in pear prices."
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