Seasoned laver replaced tuna as Korea’s most exported seafood item in the first half of this year.
It is the first time the dried seaweed, which is hugely popular in Korea as a side dish, has topped the list.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said Thursday that Korea exported US$1.12 billion worth of seafood products in the first half, up 12.1 percent on-year and the second highest amount ever, after the US$1.17 billion worth shipped during the same period in 2012.
Shipments of seasoned laver amounted to US$268.94 million, an increase of 49.4 percent from a year ago. Exports of tuna amounted to US$268.08 million, up 3.9 percent.
Japan was the largest importer of Korean laver, buying US$60 million worth, followed by China, which imported some US$50 million worth.
Exports to Russia surged to US$8 million. “Seasoned laver has been growing in popularity in Russia as an accompaniment to vodka or just as a snack”, said a ministry official.