Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

June 10 - 16, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Monday, June 21, 2021

For Coverage: June  10 ~  16, 2021

Restaurants Increase Price of Cold Noodle as Buckwheat Price Soars

Summary: Leading cold noodle ('Neng Myoun' in Korean) restaurants in Seoul have increased prices by 1,000 won (about $0.9 USD) per serving recently.  Restaurants said that increased ingredient costs, particularly buckwheat flower, was the reason.  The wholesale market price of local origin buckwheat flour was 8,500 won ($8 USD) per kilogram in June this year, up 21 percent from the same season last year.  Reduced harvest last year due to an extended monsoon season drove up pricesThe price of imported buckwheat flour increased 36 percent this year to 4,020 won ($3.6 USD) per kilogram on average.  Reduced harvests in major export countries, including the U.S., China and Mongolia drove up prices.


Industry Should Find Ways to Recycle Wine Bottles, Consumer Groups

Summary: Imports of wine are up sharply due to increased home drinking during the pandemic.  Wine bottles (along with whiskey bottles) are excluded from new labeling requirement for "recycle easiness" (introduced in 2019) as the Korean government accepted the industry claim that wine bottles should be in dark colors to preserve quality.  Instead, wine importers are charged a 20 percent premium 'penalty for non-recyclable packaging' for keeping the colored bottles.  Some consumer groups argue that the rapid growth in wine imports generate more bottles that are not recyclable.  Industry marketers commented that the government should develop a program to recycle wine bottles, such as allowing wine bottles to be used as construction material.


MAFRA Picks Oats for 'FTA Damage Compensation Program' This Year

Summary: Korea Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) reported on June 15 that it picked oats as the recipient for the 'FTA damage compensation program' this year.  MAFRA said that almost all oats marketed in Korea are replaced by imports as a result of the free trade agreements that Korea implemented with trading partners.  Local oat farmers should submit applications for compensation before July 16, detailing their oat acreage.


Strawberry Exports $46 Million by May This Year, 25% Year-On-Year Increase

Summary: Despite the ongoing pandemic, strawberry exports from South Korea (Jan – May 2021) have increased 25% from last year.  According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), the Korean strawberry industry has expanded its market in Hong Kong, Singapore Thailand, and Vietnam.  Notably, Korean strawberries take up 92.6% of the total strawberry market in Vietnam.  The main strategy from the Korean strawberry industry is premiumization, such as improving the packaging’s and applying new technology.  MAFRA has set an annual exports goal of $62 million.


Imports of Japanese Live Fish Surge … Japanese Suppliers Offer Low Price for Weak Demand from Olympic Games

Summary: Korean imports of live fish from Japan amounted to a record high, 2,877 metric tons this year through April.  Marketers forecast that the imports will likely set an annual high of over 8,000 metric tons this year.  The reason for strong import growth is low prices offered by Japanese suppliers.  The Japanese aquaculture industry increased supply of premium species, snappers in particular, in an expectation for strong demand for coming summer Olympic games in Japan.  However, local demand in Japan did not increase as the Olympic games failed to stimulate the market.  The wholesale market price for snappers in Korea plunged almost 60 percent this year due to the surge in imports from Japan.  Many Korean aquaculture farms are facing serious financial challenges as they had to lower their prices to compete.  Some imported Japanese fish are reportedly being sold as local fish.  A market audit by the Korean government in April this year found 28 violations in country of origin labeling in local seafood restaurants in which Japanese fish were labeled as local origin fish.


The Third “Eggslut” Store Opens in Gangnam

Summary: Californian sandwich franchise “Eggslut” is opening its third store in Gangnam, one of the biggest and busiest districts in South Korea.  Eggslut stores in Seoul are run by SPC Samlip, a leading processor in South Korea.  Globally, Eggslut stores are in L.A., Las Vegas, Seoul, Tokyo, London, and Kuwait City.


Andong, Gyeongbuk Province to Lead New Hemp Industry in Korea

Summary: CS Kwon, minister for the Korea Ministry of Small and Medium Businesses, visited Andong city, Gyeongbuk province on June 10 and discussed new hemp opportunities with local government officials and business representatives.  Participants shared updates on hemp research and product development projects in the province.  Minister Kwon said that Andong, which is known in the country for quality fabric made from hemp, is the perfect place to lead high-value hemp opportunities in Korea.



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