South Korean seafood exports soar


SOUTH  Korea\’s growing influence on the global seafood scene has been strengthened by the news that its fish exports soared by more than 16 per cent during the first three months of this year.
The country’s Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans said sales were helped by a strong demand for tuna and a particularly Korean product known as Gim – or dried laver.
The 16.4 per cent growth was worth  a first quarter  record  of US  $560 million in the period between January and March and rose for  the ninth consecutive quarter.
Seafood exports to Japan, South Korea\’s biggest market, advanced 4.3 per cent on-year to $163 million, led by sales of tuna, Spanish mackerel and oysters. Exports to China were up by  13.6 per cent to $86 million thanks to strong demand for crab and tuna. Other important markets included the Philippines, Ecuador,and Mexico.
Exports of dried laver, called \”gim\” in Korean, came to $123 million in the first three months, a surge of 14.2 per cent from a year earlier.
Gim is usually roasted with sesame oil and fine salt. It is served as side dish, and snacks made with laver have gained popularity among foreigners in recent years.
Meanwhile, World Trade Organization has just  ruled in favour of Japan in a dispute about a South Korean ban on Japanese seafood following the Fukushima nuclear plant  disaster in the 2011 earthquake. South Korea had appealed an earlier  WTO dispute settlement panel  which accepted Japan\’s argument that South Korea\’s import ban is arbitrary and unjustifiably discriminatory.


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