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Qingdao-made kimchi conquers Korean dinner tables

(chinadaily.com.cn) | 2020-10-12

The eastern coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong province, is home to a thriving kimchi processing industry and is a major exporter of fermented and pickled cabbage to South Korea.

South Korea has been having a kimchi crisis since the ingredients for making this traditional food, namely Chinese cabbage and radish, have skyrocketed due to adverse weather.

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Kimchi, a staple of Korean cuisine, has become a major export for Qingdao, Shandong province. [Photo/dzwww.com]

Qingdao sits across the sea from South Korea and has imported a high volume of Chinese cabbage and kimchi to the country to relieve its shortage of the staple dish in recent years.

Public statistics showed that in 2018, more than 1.4 million tons of Chinese cabbage were produced locally in Qingdao.

Many Qingdao farmers have also started cabbage plantations in the provinces of Hunan, Hubei, and Guizhou, as well as other areas.

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Workers make kimchi at a Qingdao food factory. [Photo/dzwww.com]

Chinese cabbage from Zhangjiakou in Hebei province, Ulaanqab in Inner Mongolia autonomous region, and Jinzhou in Liaoning province are first shipped to Qingdao and made into kimchi before being exported to South Korea.

Renzhao town in Pingdu, a county-level city in Qingdao, is one of the largest kimchi manufacturing bases in China.

The town has eight kimchi producers, which produce more than 70,000 tons of kimchi per year and export nearly $100 million of the product. Ninety percent of their exports go to South Korea and account for about 40 percent of the Korean kimchi market.

"After three days of production, the kimchi passes through the Qingdao Port and arrives in South Korea by sea in just one day. It can reach Korean consumers' tables within seven days," said a representative of a local company.