Chinese customs began inspecting 1,200 packs of ginseng chicken soup from South Korea on Friday in Rongcheng, Shandong province, marking the beginning of trade of the traditional Korean cuisine in the Chinese market. The first batch of products arrived at Shidao Port in Shandong on Thursday, and more will be delivered to ports in Shanghai and Shandong in following days…Full Article: ChinaDaily July 2016

Key Points

  • A total of five South Korean food companies have been registered to export ginseng chicken soup to China, while businesses in Shanghai, Weihai (Shandong Province), Qingdao (Shandong Province) and Guangzhou (Guangdong Province) have obtained equivalent import licenses. One such Chinese-based company is Taixiang Food in Shandong Province. The ginseng chicken soup will be sold in Korean restaurants (~30,000 in mainland China), Korean food stores, and supermarkets.
  • In October 2015, during a visit to Seoul, Premier Li Keqiang of China stated his country would look into permitting the imports of South Korean kimchi and ginseng chicken soup (aka samgyetang).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In July 2015, China lifted its ban on South Korean fresh milk. The ban was originally put in place in May 2014. At the same, according to a representative from Korea’s Food Safety Ministry, China’s ban on South Korean cooked and packaged samgyetang (i.e. chicken ginseng soup) imports won’t be lifted for at least five years (~2020).
  • In June 2015, China and South Korea signed a Free Trade Agreement.
  • In July 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that he would look into easing China’s strict food safety regulations on fermented foods. China requires that all fermented vegetable imports must contain less than 30 colon bacillus per 100 grams. South Korean kimchi (fermented vegetables) have been banned in China as a result.
  • In 2008, China produced approximately 44,749 MTs of ginseng (largest amount globally), while neighboring South Korea produced 27,480 MTs in 2009. Japan, North Korea, USA, Canada, and the EU also produce ginseng, though in smaller volumes.
  • In 2003, China banned the importation of uncooked kimchi from South Korea.
  • Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Rongcheng, Shandong Province, Taixiang Food is a food processor that produces and distributes frozen dumplings, canned tuna, fresh fish, seafood juice concentrates, pork, shrimp (fresh, sushi, and breaded), sea cucumber, oysters, frozen hamburger patties, sauces, packaged curry, and seasonings.

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