RSS | Register/註冊 | Log in/登入
Site search:
Home>FFTC Document Database>Extension Bulletins>RESEARCH ON THE CULTIVATION STATE AND IMPORT TRENDS OF TROPICAL FRUIT IN KOREA
facebook分享

Research on the cultivation state and import trends of tropical fruit in Korea

 

Chan-Kyu Lim*, Kang-Su Kwak**

*Agricultural Research Center for Climate Change,

NIHHS, RDA, Jeju 690-150, Republic of Korea

 

**International Technology Cooperation Center, RDA,

Suwon 441-707, Republic of Korea

Email:badang05@korea.kr

Abstract

In Korea, it is anticipated that the cultivation area for horticultural crops moves northward and is extended gradually due to global warming. The growing number of outbound travelers increases the opportunity of having more subtropical and tropical fruit. In addition, different cuisines using these fruit as ingredients are being developed by a number of restaurants in the food and beverage industry. These phenomena result in the spread of subtropical and tropical fruit demand on the rise within Korean market. In 2013, the amount of banana import was almost 230,771 tons, and it was recorded as the highest amount of imported fruit in Korea. Among all tropical fruit available, banana, pineapple and mango ranked as the highest imported fruit in Korea; these fruits accounted for about 98.9% of total imported fruit. Notably, mango was the favorite fruit and mainly given as gifts in Korea. Therefore, the amount of imported mango has been rapidly increasing over the last decade. Imported fruit, however, have to go through treatment of chilling (-30) or vapor heat (46~48) treatment according to Korea’s quarantine protocol.  In the process of import, this procedure affects the flavor and quality of these imported fruits. This is why tropical fruit which are domestically produced are evaluated more favorably since they tend to have more fresh taste. Korea mainly imports tropical fruit from the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, and items of imported fruit are diversified: dragon fruit; avocado; guava; and mangosteen are the major imports.

Introduction

Recently, cultivation area for horticultural crops that were traditionally produced only on Jeju island is moving northward and expected to be expanded because the climate in South Korea is shifting from temperate into a subtropical region. Furthermore, many Koreans have more opportunities to enjoy various kinds of tropical fruit because outbound travel is increasing. The market is expanding when we consider that the domestic restaurant industry is developing new menu by using tropical fruit.

Fig. 1. The change prediction of subtropics area according to climate change scenarios in Korea

Source: Agricultural Research Center for Climate Change, NIHHS, RDA

 

In Korea, most tropical fruit highly depend on imports from Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and distributed into the domestic market. Now, the kinds of imported fruit are varied from bananas and pineapples to mangoes, dragon fruit, avocados, guavas, and mangosteens.  The kinds of domestically grown tropical fruit are diversified, however, in order to provide stabilized cultivation of thermophilic tropical fruit, the temperature in protected horticulture is necessarily required when we consider the current climate trend.

Materials and Methods

The research was conducted based on the current status of cultivation, import trends, distribution structure, and import conditions of domestic tropical fruit.

Domestic tropical fruit cultivation and importing trend

Production trend and tendency of imports and exports including global output and cultivation area and domestic tropical fruit import trend were surveyed through documents and internet searching. In addition, by visiting tropical fruit cultivation farms in Korea individually, cultivation status, size of farmhouses, and cultivation methods were surveyed.

Current status of distribution and importing terms of domestic tropical fruits

In order to survey distribution costs such as freight, charges, and profits from farming household to end user, each tropical fruit distributer’s forms of sales and its cost were surveyed by visiting a wholesale market, a retail market, and large department stores, and Hanaromart periodically. In addition, the quality comparison was conducted between mangoes from Jeju island and those imported ones which were purchased by one distributor in Seoul. Hardness of the fruit was tested with a RHEO METER COMPAC-100Ⅱ and its sweetness was surveyed with digital saccharometer, PR101, JAPAN. Importing terms of domestic tropical fruit was drafted by referring guidelines for quarantine information on imported plants released by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency.

Results and Discussion

Cultivation and importing trend of domestic tropical fruits

Import and export trend of domestic tropical fruits

According to the current status of imports of major tropical fruit in Korea, banana imports ranked the highest from 2007 to 2013 its volume is 230,772 tons in 2013, with sales amounting to $US188,207,000.  This was followed by pineapple with importing volume of 54,907 tons with sales amounting to $US 43,583,000 in 2013. Due to the rising demand for tropical fruit in Korea, recently, the import volume of mango increased to 5,128 tons ($US19,189,000). Passionfruit has entered Korean market in 2011 and its import volume marked 170 tons in 2013 with sales amount to $US219,00, hence, it is expected that consumption of passionfruit will further  increase and rise as the new tropical fruit.

 

Table 1. Major tropical fruit imported into Korea                                    (ton)

Source : www.foodnara.go.kr

 

Table 2. Value of imports of major tropical fruit in Korea                                    (unit: thousand dollars)

Source : www.foodnara.go.kr

 

Most tropical fruit are imported from Southeast Asian countries. Banana and pineapple are most favored in Korea and mostly imported from the Philippines, with a volume of 213,230 tons and 54,402 tons respectively. Mangoes from the Philippines marked the highest figure in its import volume at 2,384 tons, which were followed by mangoes from Thailand, and Taiwan. Rambutan mostly comes from Vietnam (1,028 tons) while mangosteen is mostly imported from Thailand.

 

Table 3. Importing countries and volume of tropical fruit in Korea

Source : www.foodnara.go.kr
 

Current status of domestic tropical fruit cultivation

According to the statistics released by the Jeju Administration, as of 2011 most tropical fruit are cultivated in Jeju on the land of 42ha. Among them, mango is widely grown with a total cultivating area of 22.6 ha ran by 42 farming households. When ripe and compared, tropical domestic fruit such as pineapple and banana, showed no big difference in their quality.  This implies that the domestic tropical fruits’ competitiveness is relatively low so they are not widely cultivated. The number of mango farms is gradually increasing.  For example, in 2011, only 10 farm households were growing mangoes but between 2007 and 2011, 37 farms and 42 farms were growing mangoes respectively. Domestically grown ripe mangoes are already in the market so its cost is higher.  Thanks to its good quality including its flavor and taste which is already comparable to imported mangoes. Two farms in Jeju Special Self Governing Province are growing passionfruit, and recently, Jeollanam-do Province and Gyeongsangnam-do Province are trying to get into passionfruit growing. However, the products are only distributed to hotels or major supermarkets due to its low yield.

Table 4. Area and number of farms of tropical fruits on Jeju island

Source : 2012 Jeju Administration Data

 

Beside Jeju Special Self Governing Province, some parts of Jeollanam –do Province and Gyeongsangnam-do Province are growing tropical fruit and most of them are cultivating them as a pilot project funded by the local governments.

 

Table 5. Regions growing tropical fruit outside of Jeju island

Source : 2014 Agricultural Research Institute for Climate Change, NIHHS

 

Mango cultivation requires heat culture, so protected horticulture is essential even if they are cultivated in warm climate such as Jeju island. The pattern of mango greenhouses in Jeju island are plastic vinyl type and only two farming households are using glass type greenhouses. Recently, it is expected that more farms will turn their crops from tangerines and vegetables into tropical fruit.

 

Table 6. Cultivation types of domestic mango in greenhouses

 

Fig. 2. Views of domestic mango cultivation in plastic greenhouse

 

In Jeju, the farming households with 0.3~0.6ha of arable land account for 50%, and there are only three farm households with more than 1ha of arable land for growing mangoes. As for the domestic cropping pattern of growing mangoes in Korea, normal heating accounts for 9.4ha (47%), late-heating accounts for 6.9ha, and early-heating accounts for 3.7ha.  Due to the increasing cost of oil, many farms are delaying their heating period.

Fig. 3. Cultivation of domestic mango farms by size

 

Table 7. Cultivation pattern of domestically produced mangoes in Korea


Distribution and import regulations of Korean tropical fruit

Current status of tropical fruit distribution in Korea

The mangoes domestically produced in Korea are distributed from April to October depending on their cultivation and cropping patterns; the price starts from KRW 40,000/kg in April and goes down to 15,000/kg later in the harvest season as the yield increases, which varies depending on the main wholesalers that the farms ship their mangoes to. Korean mangoes are the same variety as the ones produced and exported from Taiwan, ‘Irwin.’ The mangoes are mostly shipped out to the main distributors such as the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and to the major cities like Seoul. In recent years, it was found that the price of mangoes harvested later for Chuseok (equivalent to Korean Thanksgiving holiday) were set at 30,000/kg, which is higher than the ones harvested earlier.

 

Table 8. Shipment trend of domestic mangoes according to heat system

 

Tropical fruit that are produced in Korea have two major distribution routes; one is through agricultural associations such as the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, while the other is through a regular wholesaler.

The first route which goes through producers’ associations mostly ship their fruit to the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, which later gets auctioned out to wholesale market and Hanaro Marts for further distribution, then it goes to wholesalers who distribute the fruit to large department and retail stores. The retailers then sell these products to consumers, which consists of five steps.

The second route is through the regular wholesalers, which starts from the producer to the wholesalers, retailers and consumers, which consists of four steps.

Fig. 4. Marketing channels of domestic tropical fruit in Korea

 

Fig. 5. Mango packaging in Korea

 

When comparing the domestically grown mangoes that were purchased at the department and retail stores in Seoul with that of the imported mangoes, the size of the fruit was not too different while the weight difference was quite big. This affects the quality of the mangoes. The imported mangoes tasted sweeter compared to the domestic ones, but the acidity was also higher. The palatability of most imported mangoes was not great since the texture and the fragrance were both deteriorated by long-term storage.  The hot water soaking treatment in the producers’ countries is one of the criteria for quarantine process that has a great impact on the texture and palatability of the fruit.

 

Table 9. Comparison of quality between domestic and imported Mangoes

 

Fig. 6. Comparison of domestic and imported Mangoes

 

Import qualification of tropical fruit

Tropical fruit imports require various physical sterilization methods including steam treatment, hot water disinfection, and cooling treatment. These treatments are prerequisite for imports since they are necessary for sterilization of the fruit to be imported, which blocks any inflow of new pests. The most common sterilization method is vapor heat treatment, which uses hot temperature steam with 90% or more moisture to kill pests and insects. However, vapor heat treatment also has downsides, which is the whitening of the fruit and deterioration of its texture with holes. The host fruit of fruit flies which are cultivated in the sub-tropics and tropics are the major ones that go through these quarantine measures for imports.

As for mangoes, most go through vapor heat treatment and hot water treatment for sterilization. The temperature range is 46-47℃ and it is done for 15-20 minutes though the condition varies depending on the importing countries.

 

Table 10. Fresh fruit and vegetable that are permitted for importation and their requirements

Name of commodity

Country

Major import requirements

Mango

Taiwan

Vapor heat treatment at the production site (at 46.5°C for 30 minutes)

Pre-clearance inspection by a Korean plant quarantine inspector

Philippines

Vapor heat treatment at the production site (at 46.5°C for 10 minutes)

Pre-clearance inspection by a Korean plant quarantine inspector

Thailand

Vapor heat treatment at the production site (at 47°C for 20 minutes)

Pre-clearance inspection by a Korean plant quarantine inspector

Australia

Fresh mango fruit produced at orchards, packing houses and vapor heat treatment facilities registered for export to Korea that went through pest monitoring and vapor heat treatment (at 47°C for 15 minutes) during the cultivation, and whose consignment was confirmed by the pre-clearance inspection by a Korean plant quarantine inspector

Papaya

Philippines

Vapor heat treatment at the production site (at 47°C for 20 minutes)

Pre-clearance inspection by a Korean plant quarantine inspector

Grape

Chile

“This consignment was grown in an area considered to be free of fruit flies” and shall be included in the additional declaration of the phytosanitary certificate. However, during the period when emergency import restriction measures are in implementation due to detection of Mediterranean fruit fly.  This statement shall be included: “This consignment is free of fruit flies, and was grown in areas other than regulated areas by registered orchards for export to Korea”.

Kiwi

Chile

“This consignment was grown in an area considered to be free of fruit flies” shall be included in the additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate. However, during the period when emergency import restriction measures are in implementation due to detection of the Mediterranean fruit fly.  This statement shall be included: “This consignment is free of fruit flies, and produced from areas other than regulated areas by registered orchards for export to Korea”.

Sweet Cherry

New Zealand

“This consignment is free of codling moth and shothole diseases” shall be included in the additional declaration of the phytosanitary certificate.

U.S.

The MB fumigation (for 2 hours) at the production site.

The details of treatment, place of origin, and the following statement shall be included in the additional declaration of the phytosanitary certificate. “This consignment has been inspected and found to be free of import prohibited pests, stigmina carpophila and Blumeriella Jaapii”.

China

Fresh fruit of sweet cherry from Shandong, China and the consignment should be of fresh fruit of cherry which were proven and confirmed to be free of pest through field inspection conducted in registered export orchards and packing houses, and shall accompany a phytosanitary certificate describing this information.

Uzbekistan

MB fumigation shall be carried out at orchards and packing houses registered with a government organization. The additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate shall also be included.

Lichi

Taiwan

Vapor heat treatment site (at 46.2°C for 20 minutes) and cold temperature treatment site (at 0 – 2 °C for 42 hours) at the production site.

Pre-clearance inspection by a Koran plant quarantine inspector.

Ponkan Orange

Taiwan

Cold temperature treatment site (at 0 – 1 °C for 14 days) at the production site.

Pre-clearance inspection by a Koran plant quarantine inspector.

Sweet orange

South Africa

Cold temperature treatment site (at 1.5 °C or lower for 16 days) at the production site or during conveyance.

Pre-clearance inspection done by a Koran plant quarantine inspector.

Orange

lemon

Australia

Field inspection and incubation test 

Fruit produced from fruit fly infested areas: cold temperature treatment site (at 1 ± 0.5 °C or lower for 16 days for orange and 14 days for lemon).

Fruit produced from fruit fly free areas: fruit fly monitoring and pre-clearance inspection by a Koran plant quarantine inspector.

Sweetie

Israel

Cold temperature treatment site (at 1.5 °C or lower for 16 days) at the production site or during conveyance.

Pre-clearance inspection by a Koran plant quarantine inspector.

Orange

(including tangerine)

grapefruit

Florida, US

“This consignment was produced from areas designated by Florida Caribbean fruit fly Protocol, and as a result of export inspection conducted by the US APHIS, it is believed that the consignment is free of the Caribbean fruit flies” shall be included on the phytosanitary certificate issued by the state of Florida, the US.

Orange

Spain

Cold temperature treatment site (at 2°C or lower for 17 days) in the exporting country before shipment or during conveyance

Pre-clearance inspection by a Koran plant quarantine inspector

Sweet pumpkin

Tonga

Produced from an area where pest control was carried out and sorted and packed by a registered packing house.

Indicate “For Korea”, name of the packing house and the registration number of the grower, and date of packing on the outside of the packing carton.

Avocado

Mexico

Produced from orchards for export to Korea (onsite survey by a Korean plant quarantine inspector).

“It is certified that the fresh fruit of avocado are not infected by Nectria galligena, and is produced in the Mediterranean fruit fly free area of Michoacán” shall be included in the additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate.

However, during the period when emergency import restriction measures are in implementation due to detection of the Mediterranean fruit fly, “It is certified that the fresh fruits of avocado is free of the Mediterranean fruit fly and Nectria galligena, and was grown in the areas other than regulated areas in Michoacán” shall be included.

Orange

Chile

“It is certified that the orange fresh fruit are free of Septoria citri and Pantomorus cervinus, and is grown in designated areas for export to Korea” shall be included in the additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate.

However, during the period when the emergency import restriction measures are in implementation due to detection of the Mediterranean fruit fly, “It is certified that the orange fresh fruit are free of fruit fly, Septoria citri and Pantomorus cervinus, and was grown in areas other than regulated areas in designated areas for export to Korea” should be included.

Lemon

Chile

“It is certified that the fresh fruit of lemon is free of Septoria citri, and was grown in areas other than regulated areas in designated areas for export to Korea” shall be included in the additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate.

However, during the period when the emergency import restriction measures are in implementation due to detection of Mediterranean fruit fly, the following statement should be included: “It is certified that the fresh fruits of orange are free of fruit fly and Septoria citri, and was grown in areas other than regulated areas in designated areas for export to Korea”.

Plants of three genus including Anthrium

Netherlands

Plants of Anthurium, Calathea, and Musa that include underground parts.

After registration as a cultivation facility for plants for propagation and a nursery for export to Korea, a sample test shall be carried out regularly in order to prove non-infection by burrowing nematode.

The consignment must accompany a phytosanitary certificate including this information in the additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate.

Walnut

(shelled or unshelled)

US

The shelled walnut shall be produced from mainland USA.

The consignment shall be MB fumigated at the production site and have the record of fumigation treatment on the phytosanitary certificate.

The unshelled walnut shall be produced from the state of California. The MB treatment shall be confirmed by a Korean plant quarantine inspector and the consignment shall have the record of fumigation treatment on the phytosanitary certificate.

Orange

Egypt

Oranges produced by designated export orchards (varieties including Navel, Valencia and Baladie).

Cold temperature treatment site (at 1.7 °C or lower for 16 days) at the production site or during conveyance.

Pre-clearance inspection by a Koran plant quarantine inspector.

Source : Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency. www.qia.go.kr

 

In addition, according to the phytosanitary certificate by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency of Korea, the list of tropical fruit that are allowed to be imported goes as follows: durian from Thailand, avocados from the U.S. and coconuts, pineapples and unripe bananas from all over the world.

As for the current status of FTAs of Korea, the total number of FTAs that are in effect is 11 while additional four FTAs are concluded and waiting for ratification in pertinent countries. In particular, the FTA with Vietnam is expected to allow imports of tropical fruit such as mango, pineapple and durian without tariff in 10 years; the current tariff on these fruit ranges from 30 to 45%. The fruits that are newly imported through the FTAs are mostly tropical fruit that are not domestically produced, and the major tropical fruit whose import volume is on the rise are lemon, mango and grapefruit.

 

Table 11. Current status of Free Trade Agreements

Source : Korea Customs Service. www.customs.go.kr

 

Cherry, lemon and grapefruit whose import volume has seen a rapid increase are mostly imported from the United States. The amount of cherries and lemons imported from the U.S. has soared by 1.9 times and 2.7 times, respectively compared to the volume in 2011 which was before the KORUS FTA took effect. The countries that exported most mangoes to Korea were Philippines (97.4%) and Thailand (1.9%) in 2003, however that rank changed to Thailand (48.5%), Philippines (33.0%) and Taiwan (17.8%) in 2013.

 

Table 12. Fruit import trend from 2003 to 2013                (unit: million, 1,000 ton, %)

Source : Korea Customs Service www.customs.go.kr, SkyeDaily www.skyedaily.com
 

Conclusion

Growing tropical fruit cultivation in Korea and import trend

Tropical fruit import and export trend

The tropical fruit with the largest volume of imports are bananas with a volume of 230,772 tons and import value amounting to$US118,207 which is followed by pineapples with the volume of 54,907 tons and import value amounting to $US43,583,000.  Mango imports follow these fruit right behind with 5,128 tons and $US19,189,000, which shows a drastic increase in the import amount. South East Asian countries are the major exporting countries with the Philippines being the top exporter with 2,384 tons of tropical fruit. This is followed by Thailand and Taiwan.  Rambutans are imported from Vietnam with an import volume of 1,028 tons, and mangoesteens are mainly imported from Thailand.

Cultivation of domestically produced tropical fruit

According to the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province data as of 2011, tropical fruit are mostly produced in Jeju with its cultivation area of 42ha.  Mango farms account for most with 22.6ha and 42 farming households. Pineapples and bananas are not popular cultivars since their quality and price do not have competitive edge compared to those from the other countries. The number of mango farms continuously increased from 10 farms in 2011 to 37 farms in 2007, and 42 farms in 2011. Domestic mangos are considered to have better quality compared to the imported ones since they are harvested when they are ripe, which makes them sell at higher wholesale price.

Distribution and import requirements of tropical fruit

Domestically produced tropical fruit distribution

Domestically produced mangoes are harvested and distributed from April to October.  The mangoes which are domestically produced are distributed from April to October depending on their growth and cropping patterns; the price starts from 40,000 won/kg in April and goes down to 15,000 won/kg later in the harvest season and during the Chuseok season, they sell at 30,000 won/kg. Judging from the field survey at the department stores in Seoul for the price of Korean and imported mangoes, Korean mangoes sold at 4,000-4,800 won per 100g in late June, and the price goes up to 5,000-7,500 won during the Chuseok season. The distribution routes consist of either 5 or 4 steps depending on their main wholesale distributors.

Requirements of tropical fruit imports

The tropical fruit that are imported from the South East Asian countries have to go through hot steam treatment, hot water treatment, cooling treatment for physical sterilization. According to the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency of Korea, the list of tropical fruit that are allowed to be imported into Korea as long as they have acquired the phytosanitary certificate are durian from Thailand, avocados from the U.S. and New Zealand, and coconuts, pineapples and unripe bananas from many countries in the tropics.

REFERENCES

Fukunaga, E.T. 1974. Color guide of tropical fruits. pp. 46-49.

Nagy, Steven. 1980. Tropical and subtropical fruit. pp. 184-257.

Nakasone, H.Y. and Paull, R.E. 2004. Tropical fruit. pp.208-238.

Kwon Wondal. 1997. Theory of Agricultural Products Distribution.

National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science. http://www.nihhs.go.kr.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://www.fao.org.

Kim Ki-Joong. 2011. Tropical Fruit Resources. pp.80-90.

Kim Hotak. 2003. Theory of Farm-Product Prices.

National Institute of Subtropical Agriculture. 2005. Culturing Technique of Mango.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. http://www.qia.go.kr.

Rural Development Administration. 2010. Agricultural Management Standard Textbook Mango. pp.20-39.

Bang Jihwan. 2002. A Method of Cultivation of Tropical, Subtropical Fruit. pp.46-49.

Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. http://www.foodnara.go.kr.

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. 2013. The Present Situation of Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock in Jeju Special Self-Governing Province.

 


Download the PDF. of this document (265), 1,005,347 bytes (982 KB).