South Korea's grape imports hit record high in 2014

South Korea’s imports of grapes reached an all-time high last year as free trade deals with Chile and other countries spurred the influx of the fruit, data showed on Sunday.

According to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service, the country imported 59,260 tons of grapes worth US$189 million last year, an all-time record.
Last year’s grape imports mark a sharp rise from 28,437 tons in 2009 and 9,970 tons in 2004.

During the first quarter of the year, imports of the fruit also surged 24.2 percent on-year to reach 23,332 tons, and posted a 20.8 percent rise to $78.68 million.

Chilean grapes accounted for some 80 percent of the total imports, with shipments from the South American country reaching 47,026 tons worth $152 million last year.

South Korea imported the second-largest amount of grapes from the U.S. last year with 7,027 tons last year, followed by Peru with 5,200 tons.

South Korea’s grape imports from Chile have snowballed since 2004, when the country’s free trade deal with the South American country took effect.

Since January last year, tariffs on Chilean grapes have been completely removed.

South Korea also has forged similar trade deals with the U.S.and Peru, which went into force in 2012 and 2011, respectively. (Yonhap)


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