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South Korea: Citrus Annual

Total citrus production expected to drop by about 7 percent in MY2021/22

In MY 2021/22, Korea's total citrus production is expected to drop by about 7 percent, with consumption falling by 5 percent. Korean citrus production continues to trend towards increased greenhouse growing with an emphasis on high quality fruit, and citrus faces increased competition from other domestically produced high sugar content fruits. Korean imports of U.S. oranges are projected to decline by 5 percent, with U.S. lemon and grapefruit imports mostly unchanged.

Tangerine & mandarin production
Reduced open field “Unshu” harvests in northern Jeju island will drive Korea’s total citrus production down 6.9 percent to 610,000 MT in MY 2021/22 (October – September). This reduction from last year’s volume is primarily a result of the crop’s alternating fruit-bearing cycle entering a lower yield period in 2022. Additionally, frequent rainfall during the summer fruit growing period and a sudden torrential rainfall right before the harvest season for extra early-maturing citrus in late August and early September had a negative impact on yields and fruit quality. Fruit quality issues included fruit cracking and larger-sized fruits with excess moisture, which are not favored in the Korean market.

Nonmarketable fruits are expected to increase by 10 percent from a year ago due to the quality issues. In MY 2021/22, regular season citrus production in open fields (accounting for about 79 percent of total citrus production in MY 2020/21) is estimated at 465,000 MT based on the November Ag Research crop survey, down about ten percent (51,000 MT) from the previous year.

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