Russian crab flocks to South Korea despite China sanctions and lockdowns

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Russian exporters are shipping more crab to South Korea after being shut out of other international markets.

Many of the world’s biggest markets for crab, including the US, EU and UK, have announced bans on Russian seafood imports in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Simultaneously, the Chinese government has imposed closures in Shanghai and several other cities to control a COVID-19 outbreak, a move that is expected to hamper the influx of seafood into China.

As a result, Russia has redirected much of its crab exports to South Korea, causing shellfish prices to plummet there over the past month, Reuters reported. According to data from South Korea’s main seafood market, the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, prices for live snow crab fell to 23,000 KRW (18.70 USD, 17.20 EUR) on kilogram at the end of March, compared to 50,000 KRW (40.60 USD, 37.40 EUR) per kilogram in mid-February. More than double the typical supply of the product was recorded during this period.

King crab prices are also falling, although they are not officially monitored in Noryangjin. Kim Mi-kyeong, owner of a fish shop in the market, said king crab was now sold at 85,000 KRW (69.00 USD, 63.50 EUR) per kilogram, down from 110,000 KRW (89.30 USD). , 82.20 EUR) per kilogram two months ago. .

“We didn’t have enough supplies then, but a lot more volume has come in from Russia in the last two months. Prices are lower now, so twice as many people are coming,” Mi said. -kyeong.

Although considered an unaffordable delicacy in the past, king crab and other crab products from Russia are now widely available in South Korean supermarkets and online retail channels in South Korea and are become popular choices for consumers, according to Reuters. Market customers polled by Reuters expressed varying opinions about Russian seafood. Choi Myung-sook said king crab is her favorite and she hopes the prices will drop further. But Jung Mi-jung said she refuses to buy crab from Russia.

“We shouldn’t buy these crabs,” she said. “It’s not even a necessity, and Russia has waged an unjustifiable war against Ukraine. We should join the boycott.”

So far, South Korea has not restricted food imports from Russia, although it has reduced coal imports from Russia and announced other economic and financial sanctions.

In a speech delivered virtually to South Korea’s parliament on April 11, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on the East Asian nation to do “much more” and send military assets to help Ukraine lead the war against Russia, reported the Korea JoongAng Daily.

Photo courtesy of amikorea/Shutterstock

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