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Fruit Fury: Koreans Outraged Over Cheap U.S. Apple Prices

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In Korea, apples are so expensive that they are called “golden apples.” While in the U.S., they are being sold for less than $2, sparking outrage among Korean consumers.

Recently, a post titled “Current State of Apples that Used to Cost $7.32 Each” appeared on an online community, along with a picture presumed to be taken at a U.S. supermarket. The photo shows apples labeled Choongju Safe Washed Apples priced at $1.29 each.

This price is incredibly low compared to Korea, where apples sell for over $7.32. Even on Coupang, the largest distribution company in Korea, a box of nine apples sells for $21.22, making the price per apple about $2.36.

Netizens are pointing out the problems with the domestic distribution structure in response to this price difference. Criticisms such as, “Middle wholesalers take too much,” and “How can the price of apples drop so drastically once they cross the ocean?” “Aren’t the large corporations monopolizing distribution,” and “Only Korean consumers are being taken advantage of” are pouring out.

The surge in apple prices has been ongoing since last year. Due to climate change causing frequent heatwaves and heavy rains, production has decreased. Additionally, increased logistics costs due to the Russia-Ukraine war have pushed prices even higher.

However, Korean consumers are criticizing the government’s inadequate measures against the surge in agricultural product prices. There is a strong call for improvements in the distribution structure so that consumers can purchase agricultural products at an affordable price.

Experts suggest that “we need to reduce the middle distribution margin through improvements in the distribution structure and establish a system where consumers can purchase agricultural products directly from producers.” They also emphasized that “the government needs to pursue policies to stabilize agricultural product prices actively.”

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