While squids and mackerels, both of which are timeless favorites among Koreans, are becoming more expensive than before in the U.S., beef prices have hit the lowest point in the last five years. Likewise, pork prices are settling down as well.
A pound of squids in many Koreatown supermarkets in Los Angeles is on sale in the range between $2.99 and $4.99 compared to the usual price of $1.99 per pound in the past. When on a discount, a pound of squad often used to cost just $1, which now seems like an unimaginable price.
Mackerels are going through a similar increase in value, as the cost for it is now anywhere in between $1.29 to $2.99. Until the recent hike in its price, mackerels were often sold for less than $1 per pound.
“Squids are usually imported from Argentina, but the supply has gone down this year due to the climate change,” said Hannam Chain director Tae-jung Kim. “The prices aren’t projected to drop any time soon.”
Those in the business say that squid and mackerel prices began jumping from as early as this past February.
On the contrary, beef and pork prices have stopped going up recently and began to stabilize after various butchers have made an organized effort to provide sufficient supply for the increasing demand. Ground beef has now hit its lowest price range since 2011.
Despite eclipsing over $10 per pound at one point, short ribs are now on sale for between $8.99 and $9.99, but as low as $6.99 to $7.99 on discount deals. Pork belly has also decreased in prices at just around $3.99 to $4.99. To leverage the lowering prices of beef and meat, Koreatown markets are promoting the likes of short ribs, bulgogi, oxtails and pork belly as their main discounted items.
Zion Market’s seafood department employee is organizing the displayed squids amid its soaring prices, while beef prices are decreasing.
By Sung Yeon Lee