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Seaweed Exports Exceed US$500 Million

Korea's annual export of seaweed exceeded US$500 million for the first time.

According to the Korean Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and aT (Korea Agro Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation), last year’s exports of Korean seaweed passed the half-billion dollar mark on December 20. In 2016, Korea exported US$353 million worth of seaweed. All Korean seaweed uses only Korean ingredients, and about 40% of it is exported overseas, so the exports are increasing farmers’ incomes.

Exports of Korean seaweed are rapidly growing thanks to the facts that the production area is limited to China, Japan, and Korea, and the demand has dramatically increased as the popularity of eating seaweed as a snack has risen. With systemized cultivation of seaweed and mass-scale production of dried and seasoned seaweed, the competitiveness of Korean seaweed products has also grown. The producers are actively exploring foreign markets while government organizations are providing necessary support.

aT food export director, Baek Jin-suk, said, "We will continue to offer support until exports of seaweed reach US$1 billion. We will try our best to further increase farmers’ incomes by diversifying the export markets and entering the premium food markets overseas.”

Lee Hyun Woo  leehw@agrinet.co.kr

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