South Korea's ‘national fish’ mackerel rises in price as demand rises, ‘precious side dish’ cutlass cuts consumption due to reduced consumption

Updated Nov 9, 2022
The price of mackerel, a “national fish,” is soaring, and the price of cutlassfish, a “precious side dish,” is falling. Cutlassfish were usually more than four times more expensive than mackerel based on the wholesale price of 1kg, but this year, the price difference between the two fishes has narrowed to less than two times. The Korean table is changing as consumption stagnation, high oil prices, and the high exchange rate are approaching. ○ Reduced haircut consumption, soaring mackerel prices According to the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) on the 8th, the wholesale price of 10 kg of mackerel (as of the 7th) was 62,880 won, a 48.3% increase from the average year (42,372 won). On the other hand, the wholesale price of 1 kg of cutlassfish was 8,900 won, down 50.6% from the normal year (18,026 won). The price of cutlassfish in normal years reached 4.2 times the price of mackerel (based on the wholesale price per kg), but this year it is only 1.4 times. The price difference between mackerel and cutlassfish has also been reduced to about 2,600 won this year, down to one-fifth of the average year (about 13,800 won). This is largely attributable to an increase in the demand for mackerel while the demand for cutlassfish, a high-quality fish, decreased due to the economic downturn. A fishery buyer at a large mart said, "The catch of cutlassfish has decreased, but the demand has decreased and the market price has dropped as the supply has accumulated in major producers such as Jeju." A similar phenomenon occurred in September. Even though abalone shipments decreased by 37% from the previous month, the price of abalone (8-12) rose only about 4%. This is because the demand for abalone has been relatively small as the preference for ‘cost-effectiveness’ Chuseok gifts has increased in the perception that ‘abalone = expensive gift’. Due to the economic downturn, premium fruit prices are also falling. Shine Muscat's price has been falling due to the recent decline in demand. As of the 7th, the wholesale price of Shine Muscat (2 kg) was 17,440 won, down 32% from the normal year (25,708 won). A fruit buyer at a large mart said, “In recent years, Shine Muscat’s popularity has skyrocketed and the cultivated area has increased, but consumer wallets have become thinner and demand has declined again.
The trend is to buy,” he said. ○ High oil price and high exchange rate also stimulated price rise The aftermath of high oil price and high exchange rate also fueled a surge in mackerel prices. In October and November, domestic frozen mackerel stockpiles are usually depleted, and demand for raw and imported mackerel is concentrated. Last month, imports of mackerel plunged 69% from the previous month. Salmon imported from Norway has also been affected by rising oil prices and foreign exchange rates since the beginning of the year. The unit price of imported frozen salmon soared more than 100% from last year. The average price of 1 kg of salmon traded in the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market from the 24th to the 29th of last month was 16,000 won, a 45% increase from the same period last year ...
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