South Korean market opens for NZ asparagus
Following an announcement made on Dec. 10, all asparagus shipments to the East Asian nation will need to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, and be free of pest, soil and weed seeds.
A HortNZ spokesperson told www.freshfruitportal.com a 27% tariff on the crop would be reduced in equal steps to zero by Jan. 1, 2018.
Fresh Facts, a joint publication between HortNZ and Plant & Food Research, reports that in 2014 New Zealand produced 1,800 metric tons (MT) of asparagus and registered exports of NZ$2.3 million (US$1.54 million) for the crop.
Production mostly takes place on the North Island, in the areas of Waikato, Manawatu/Wanganui and Hawke's Bay.
UN Comtrade statistics show Japan was New Zealand's leading asparagus export market in 2014 with 158.5MT, representing 83% of overseas shipments, followed by Australia (6%), Singapore (5%), and China/Hong Kong (2%).
In the same year, South Korea imported 442MT of the vegetable with Peru accounting for almost half the supply, followed by Thailand (19%), Mexico (12%), Australia (8%) and the U.S. (6%).
From January to October in 2015, South Korea had already surpassed its 2014 asparagus import level at 473MT, representing a 44% year-on-year rise.