The price of fruit is highest in four years due to prolonged drought and unusually hot weather since last year.
According to Statistics Korea, the fruit price index for May reached 118.15, the highest since May 2013. The index is based on the market price of 15 favorite fruits such as apples, pears, grapes and strawberries. The mean of 100 represents the average base figure set in 2015.
In November last year it stood at an affordable 96.79, but it has soared because yields of apples and pears were poor due to record hot weather.
The apples and pears people consume now are last year’s harvest. But this year’s production volume of watermelons and sweet melons, which are sold almost directly from the fields, also decreased because of the ongoing drought.
According to the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation, the average price of watermelons and apples as of Tuesday rose by 10 percent and seven percent compared to the same period of last year.