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Unrelenting fruit prices: single pear costs 6,500 won

Posted June. 22, 2024 08:21,   

Updated June. 22, 2024 08:21


The nationwide average retail price of pears has soared to an all-time high. With the price of pears, now dubbed 'golden pears,' along with apples and other fruits climbing steeply, the consumer burden is increasing.

Recent data from the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) and other sources reveal a startling trend: the national average retail price for 10 pears (Shingo variety, premium) has hit a record high of 65,390 won. This marks the first time the price of 10 pears has crossed the 65,000 won threshold. In just a year, the price has surged by a staggering 2.3 times, from 28,014 won. The retail price of pears breached the 60,000 won mark on June 7 at 60,670 won and has since continued its steep ascent, reaching 62,750 won on Monday.

The situation is further complicated by the potential for more fruit price increases. Last month, damage from fire blight spread from the Chungcheong regions to Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Gyeongbuk, and Jeonbuk. Additionally, black spot disease, caused by a fungus, is showing signs of spreading in Naju, Jeonnam, the largest pear-producing region. The Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI) predicted in its 'June Agricultural Outlook' report that the shipment volumes of pears and apples until early autumn would decrease by 87.1% and 21.3%, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

As signs of fruit price increases emerged, the government held a price-related vice-ministerial meeting at the Seoul Government Complex on the same day and decided to import more than 40,000 tons of additional fruits through quota tariffs this month. To respond to supply and demand instability in the summer, the government plans to secure 28,000 tons of available supplies for agricultural products, including 15,000 tons of reserved cabbage and radishes.

김형민 기자 kalssam35@donga.com