Kimchi Catastrophe: Typhoons Cripple South Korea’s Cabbage Fields

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Kimchi Catastrophe: Typhoons Cripple South Korea’s Cabbage Fields” – below is their description.

    A series of typhoons in South Korea this summer has left the country blindsided by a kimchi catastrophe. Fields of cabbages — which are usually seasoned with spices this time of year and left to ferment for months to make South Korea’s favorite pungent dish — were wiped out across the country due to the extreme weather, causing prices to surge more than 60%. In a normal year, South Korean households buy cabbages and other vegetables in bulk to make kimchi for the next year, a season called “gimjang” and a tradition passed down through the generations for over a century. But this year, the longest-ever rainy season as well as three big typhoons caused flooding in August and September, damaging crops and disrupting supplies. After Korea Statistics said the nation’s fresh food prices climbed 22% last month to the highest since early 2011, cabbage prices will remain high this month, rising about 8% on average from a year earlier, according to Korea Rural Economic Institute. It’s not just households who are suffering. Daesang Corp., South Korea’s top kimchi producer, said it has temporarily suspended online sales because of the cabbage shortfall. CJ CheilJedang Corp., another major food company, said it’s looking for alternative supplies to meet demand that’s especially high this year as more people eat at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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