South Korea’s exports of dried seaweed hit all-time record in 2023

South Korea
Photo credit: Yonhap

South Korea's exports of dried seaweed reached a record last year on the back of growing popularity of Korean food items, the customs agency said Friday, Yonhap reports.

Outbound shipments of dried seaweed, called "gim" in Korean, came to US$790 million, or 1.03 trillion won, in 2023 by rising 22.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS).

It marked the first time that the gim exports surpassed the 1 trillion won level.

Dried seaweed is usually roasted with sesame oil and fine salt to be served as a side dish in Korean dining. Snacks made of gim have also gained popularity recently.

By country, the United States was the No. 1 destination with $169 million in 2023, followed by Japan with $144 million.

China came next with $90.7 million, and the export value for Thailand came to $66 million and Russia $57 million, the data showed.

Agency chief Ko Kwang-hyo visited a gim processing complex in the southwestern city of Mokpo on Friday and vowed to extend support for the industry, the KCS said.

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