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S. Korea to beef up exports of ready-to-eat fishery products amid pandemic

Industry 11:00 June 09, 2020

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday it plans to develop new ready-to-eat products utilizing local fishery goods to take advantage of the rising demand for processed food items as more people refrain from dining out amid the new coronavirus pandemic across the globe.

Under the plan, the country will join forces with local businesses and develop at least nine different kinds of new processed fishery products that can be easily prepared at households by the end of this year, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

Starting next month, South Korea also plans to join forces with convenience stores in Southeast Asia to sell more of the products in the region, including those in China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Workers package fish cakes at a factory in the southern port city of Busan in this file photo released by Busan Eomuk Development Corp. on July 26, 2018. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

While the new coronavirus has dealt a harsh blow to South Korea's exports, a handful of segments, including biohealth products and foodstuffs, saw their outbound shipments sharply rise on-year.

South Korea's exports of processed foodstuffs shot up 26.6 percent on-year to hit $257 million in May. The country's overall outbound shipments for the month, on the other hand, plummeted nearly 24 percent.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has been speeding up the growth of the global market for ready-to-eat products," an official from the ministry said. "South Korea will continue making efforts to expand shipments of fishery products."

South Korea's exports of fishery products, including fresh items, reached an all-time high of US$2.5 billion in 2019, up 5.8 percent from a year earlier. The increase was led by the rising demand for seaweed, which advanced 10.3 percent over the period to hit $580 million.

colin@yna.co.kr
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