S. Korea to release sea salt reserves amid high prices, demand

The oceans ministry said Wednesday it will release sea salt reserves to cope with recent price hikes and rising demand.

Up to 400 tons of salt will be released to major discount chain stores and traditional markets across the country starting Thursday through July 11, and they will be retailed at about 20 percent off the consumer price for June, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

Sea salt prices jumped more than 10 percent on-year this month due mainly to the fall in production amid unfavorable weather conditions, according to the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corp.

Demand for sea salt has also surged recently in South Korea, as some shoppers and retailers are stockpiling it in fear of a supply shortage and the potential health hazards stemming from Japan's planned release of radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Tokyo plans to discharge radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, which was crippled by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, as early as next week.

The Seoul government dismissed chances of an immediate shortage of sea salt, though it has vowed to enhance monitoring of salt farms and distribution channels to ensure its safety and stable supplies.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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