South Korea follows China with COVID-linked restrictions

January 20, 2021 21:35

As per late January the Korean food safety authorities informed Russia’s "National Center for the Safety of Aquatic Products and Aquaculture» that the country is tightening COVID-linked safety in their ports, reports

In particular, the Russians were told that should a reefer’s crew test positive for COVID-19 the vessel will not be allowed to land the fish products in the Korean ports.

After China closed borders for frozen seafood and live crab at least until 15 February, South Korea remains practically the only shipping destination for the Russian exported fish cargoes apart from the domestic coldstores.

As a result, Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries (FAF) is pushing for stricter COVID prevention measures and for a greater share of the catch from the pollock A season to be stored at the domestic coldstores and/or processed at domestic factories.

Russia has increased exports of agricultural products to Korea by 50% by the end of 2020, reports

According to Rusexporter, the exports structure was dominated by crustaceans, frozen fish, fish fillets, mollusks and corn.

About 45% of the volume exported was accounted for by crustaceans, whose deliveries against the background of the pandemic decreased in volume to 43 thousand tons (-11%) and in value to 752 million dollars (-0.8%). The vast majority of this volume was accounted for by crabs, for which South Korea occupies a leading position.

Frozen fish exports surged to 410 thousand tons (+45%) worth $ 611 million (+8.8%). Russia supplies Korea with pollock, cod, sardines, sockeye salmon, halibut and many other fish species. Further, the products are partially re-exported to Japan, China and other Asian countries, also in processed form.

Fish fillets occupied the third place in the structure of exports with the shipments increasing to 40 thousand tons (+4.7%) in physical terms and to 111 million dollars (+7.4%) in value terms.

The fourth place is occupied by mollusks with a volume of 11.5 thousand tons (-10%) valued at 50 million dollars (-7%).

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