FIRST SQUASH PUMPKIN SHIPMENT OF SEASON LEAVES TONGA FOR JAPAN

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NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (November 2, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The first shipment of squash pumpkin from Tonga this season , totaling 1,600 tons from three export companies, left the kingdom for Japan Wednesday aboard the MV Atlanta.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries, Sione Vailanu, says the initial target of 2,000 tons for the MV Atlanta could not be fulfilled, and bad weather is partially to blame.

Meanwhile, a second vessel, the MV Evans, was scheduled to leave for Japan during the weekend with squash pumpkin shipments from four companies.

Prices paid the exporters ranged from 31 to 42 U.S. cents a kilogram.

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