In marketing year 2019/20, Korea’s pear production is projected to increase by 3.4 percent to 210,000 tons due to increased yield as a result of better weather conditions compared to the previous year. However, pear planted area is projected to continue a downward trend, decreasing about seven percent to 9,625 hectares from the previous marketing year.
This will be the Korean pear industry’s first time ever below 10,000 hectares, with pears becoming increasingly less attractive to producers as consumer demand declines and alternative crops appear more profitable. Korea’s pear exports are projected to rebound by 7.3 percent (about 2,000 tons) to 29,000 tons from the previous year because of the increasing popularity of Korean culture and products in Southeast Asian countries.
Source: Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Korea’s pear production area has decreased significantly, by 63 percent, during the past two decades after reaching a record in MY 2000/01 of 25,719 hectares. In particular, the area for mature trees for fruit production has decreased an average of two percent annually, while the area for new planting (young trees) has decreased drastically by 16 percent annually.
In MY 2018/19, total planted area decreased by five percent to 10,303 hectares from the previous marketing year. Pear trees can bear commercial fruit in six to seven years after planting. Korea’s pear growing area is relatively evenly spread across four main provinces of South Jeolla, Chungcheong, Gyeonggi and Gyeongsang, each contributing around 20 percent of overall production. The balance is spread across the rest of the country.