Taiwan lychee harvest halved due to mild and dry winter

Poor harvest not seen in five decades

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Lychee harvest likely to be cut by more than half amid climate change.

Lychee harvest likely to be cut by more than half amid climate change. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan will produce less than half the normal amount of lychees for the first time in almost 50 years because the past winter was not cold and wet enough, reports said Wednesday (April 17).

The Council of Agriculture (COA) said that only 20 percent of lychee and longan trees had blossomed, leading experts to expect that production of the fruits would be at least below half, almost five decades after this last happened, the Central News Agency reported.

In addition to the mild winter, a lack of rain had also played a part in the limited harvest expected for this year, with only 10 percent of the usual harvest projected for Central Taiwan and between 30 and 40 percent for South Taiwan, agricultural officials said.

Usually, the first lychees would appear at traditional markets in late April, but this year, that was unlikely to happen, according to the COA. However, prices were unlikely to rise dramatically, CNA reported.