Strawberry prices, which rose so much so that they are referred to as “gold strawberries,” will remain high. The high prices are caused by an abnormal climate of last year. “Temperatures were high in late September and early October during strawberry’s vegetative period, which led to damages by blight and harmful insects, then low temperatures followed, which contributed to low production volume,” said the Korea Rural Economic Institute.
As high temperatures and humidity had continued until mid-October due to the rainy season, many seedlings died from blight and harmful insects while production volume decreased from a cold wave in late November.
Another contributing factor is a decrease in strawberry acreage due to the aging of farmers and shortage of labor. Shipment volume in February this year will be 10 percent less than a year ago. The shipment schedule has also been delayed so strawberries will become more available after mid-February. However, the Korea Rural Economic Institute believes that the quality of strawberries in terms of sweetness and size will be improved from the previous year thanks to an increased amount of sunshine these days.
Consumers will continue to feel high strawberry retail prices. According to the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp.’s produce distribution data, the average retail price of strawberry is 36,340 won for two kilograms of middle-quality products as of Monday, which is 37.8 percent higher than a year ago. It is 16.3 percent less than last month but still 63.1 percent higher than the average year.
Hye-Ryung Choi email@example.com