South Korea’s dried laver (seaweed) exports in the first 10 months this year reached all-time high, data showed Wednesday.
Dried laver, called ‘gim’ in Korean, is often roasted with sesame oil and seasoned with salt and is served as a side dish menu that goes with Korean meals. It has recently earned fame as a healthy, low-calorie snack among foreign visitors to Korea, gaining popularity abroad.
According to the Korea Customs Service data, gim export jumped a whopping 48.4 percent on year to a record-high of $450 million in the January-October this year. Korea’s gim export has grown continuously since it broke the $400 million milestone for the first time ever in the third quarter this year. By volume, gim shipments in the cited period recorded 18,700 tons, up 22.6 percent from a year earlier.
By country, gim export to Japan took up the largest 23.5 percent of Korea’s gim shipments to overseas markets. China came second with 17.5 percent followed by the United States with 15.8 percent, Thailand 15.5 percent, and Taiwan 6.5 percent.
Gim exports to Japan soared 52.1 percent from a year ago and China replaced the U.S as Korea’s second largest trade partner in gim export this year.
Snacks made with gim such as gim chips are also gaining popularity that the country’s gim export for full 2017 is estimated to top $500 million, said a Korea Customs Service official.
By Chun Jung-hong and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]