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Imports of Japanese seafood dip for fifth month in Aug.

Sept. 18, 2023 - 09:55 By Yonhap
A supermarket in Goyang, north of Seoul, displays a sign indicating they do not sell Japanese-imported seafood, on Wednesday (Yonhap)

South Korean imports of Japanese seafood fell for the fifth consecutive month in August on concerns over Japan's release of treated radioactive water, government data showed Monday.

Seoul imported $7.81 million worth of fishery products from the neighboring country last month, down 34.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

August posted the largest on-year decline this year, and last month's import value was the smallest monthly figure in two years.

In terms of volume, Japanese seafood imports stood at some 1,622 tons in August, 24.9 percent lower than a year earlier.

The value and volume of Japanese seafood imports thus shrank for the fifth straight month in August.

On Aug. 24, Japan started discharging the radioactive water, which has been stored at the Fukushima nuclear power plant since three nuclear reactors melted down in the wake of a powerful earthquake in March 2011, into the ocean.

In the first eight months of the year, the value of Japanese seafood imports dropped 2.5 percent on-year to $101.1 million, with the volume sinking 11.3 percent to 17,480 tons.

The data also showed South Korea's imports of Japanese beer continued to expand in August amid waning anti-Japan sentiment among Korean consumers.

The value of Japanese beer imports spiked 393.3 percent on-year to $7.48 million in August, with the volume soaring 323.7 percent to 8,644 tons.

The two figures were the largest since June 2019, shortly before Tokyo's export curbs against Seoul, which sparked a boycott of Japanese goods here.

In the January-August period of this year, the value of Japanese beer imports rocketed 253.2 percent on-year to $30.2 million, with the volume shooting up 238.4 percent to 36,565 tons, according to the data. (Yonhap)