SEOUL, Jun. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Japan’s dried laver production has reached a 41-year all-time low, raising speculations that South Korean exporters might step in to fill the void.
The Fisheries Outlook Center at Korea Maritime Institute said on Thursday that the amount of dried laver put out for public sale in Japan was 63 million packs (100 sheets per pack), a 16 percent drop since last year.
“Ocean temperatures were exceptionally high last winter, while there was less rain, hindering the supply of nutrition,” explained the center.
Japan is South Korea’s largest export destination for dried laver, called “gim” in Korean. Last year, South Korea shipped out US$520 million worth of dried laver, 22.5 percent of which was bound for Japan.
The recent plunge in Japanese dried laver production is expected to raise the price of dried laver in the country, which may serve as an advantage for South Korea.
“Japanese manufacturers are expected to raise the price of dried laver this month,” said the center.
“The major Japanese food manufacturer Shirako Co. recently announced that it will raise prices for some 50 kinds of dried laver goods.”
Japanese dried laver brands are expected to raise prices by between 1 and 8 percent.
“Dried laver production in South Korea, as of April, reached 170 million packs, surpassing the annual average,” said the center. “Japanese demand for South Korean dried laver is expected to increase.”
Some experts even anticipate that South Korea will set a new record for dried laver exports to Japan this year.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries reported that South Korean dried laver exports between January and May of this year reached US$240 million, an increase of 4 percent from last year.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)