|Kelp on rocky beach in Freycinet, Tasmania|
Kelps grow in underwater "forests" (kelp forests) in shallow oceans. The organisms require nutrient-rich water with temperatures between 6 to 14 degree celsius. They are known for their high growth rate — the genera Macrocystis and Nereocystis can grow as fast as half a metre a day, ultimately reaching 30 to 80 m.
Japanese orders for noodles, water soar in South Korea
By AKIRA NAKANO Staff Writer
"Shin Ramyun," a spicy kind of instant ramen noodles, are sorted out at an international distribution center in Incheon, near Seoul, on April 1 to be flown to Japan. (Akira Nakano)
SEOUL-- Exports of products such as instant noodles and mineral water to Japan have sharply increased in South Korea since the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake.
According to a South Korean governmental organization, exports to Japan were 50 percent higher than the same period last year. Some manufacturers are trying to meet the phenomenal demand by operating their factories 24 hours a day.
According to statistics released by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) on April 11, South Korea's exports to Japan from March 12 to 29 increased 51.5 percent from the same period last year. Exports of mineral water grew 8.8 times, and those of ramen noodles rose 2.2 times. Exports of dried kelp ("konbu") also increased five times.
South Korean food maker Nong Shim Ltd., best known for its "Shin Ramyun" (spicy ramen), increased its exports of instant noodles to Japan to $7.5 million (about 614 million yen) in March, 2.5 times the amount in normal years. The company started to operate its Busan factory around the clock to meet the demand.
As the increase in orders continues this month, the firm is now considering expanding production in other factories.
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Development Corp. said that while it usually exports between 500,000 to 1 million tons of mineral water a year, it is planning to ship 25 million to 30 million tons to Japan this month in response to the overwhelming demand after the earthquake. The maker of a different mineral water said that sales to Japan in March were triple those of the same period last year.
Dongwon F&B Co., a company that makes seafood products, said that exports of nori (dried seaweed) have doubled since the quake.