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Kaki, Diospyros kaki / Ebenaceae
Persimmons are native to three areas, China, Japan and the United States, depending on the species. The Chinese variety spread all over Asia, from where it was introduced to the rest of the world. At the moment, almost the whole of the production of persimmons takes place in Asia, mainly in China, Korea and Japan.

The Chinese variety arrived at Japan in the VIIIth century, where it became a highly appreciated fruit. From there it spread to the rest of the world, arriving at the United States in 1870. In Europe, the American kakis were the first to be introduced.

Asia produces 96% of the world-wide production. In Europe and South America there is little production, whereas in Oceania and North America they are hardly cultivated, as it is shown in the following table.

ContinentTons%
Asia2,196,40896
Europe41,9072
North America450-
South America53,0002
Oceania1,850-
Total2,293,615100

Source: FAO Production Yearbook, 2000

The main producing country, with great difference, is China. The rest are also Asian, Korea and Japan. The following table shows the main producers of this fruit in the world.

CountryTons
China1,648,962
Korea273,846
Japan258,800
Brazil53,000
Italy41,907
Israel13,800
New Zealand1,200
Iran1,000
Australia650
Mexico450

Source: FAO Production Yearbook, 2000

The following table shows the main export countries. The amount of produce exported by Israel is outstanding, being the main exporter, compared with Japan, Brazil and China; however, Israel produces much less than these other countries.

CountryTons
Israel6,439
Japan874
Brazil371
China171

Source: FAO Trade Yearbook, 2000
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