SOUTH KOREA'S WINE IMPORTS UP OVER 70% IN 2021, TOPPING USD500M FOR THE FIRST TIME
By Susan Lewis
Credit: Markus Winkler/Unsplash
South Korea’s wine imports soared over 70 percent in 2021 as more people enjoyed drinking at home and alone amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to report by Yonhap News Agency.
Quoting latest data by the Korea Customs Service, Yonhap reported that a total of USD506.2 million worth of wines was imported by South Korea between January and November last year, up 76 percent from a year earlier.
The report also said that this is the first time South Korea’s wine imports have surpassed the USD500 million level.
South Korea’s wine imports had been on a steady rise. They came to USD244 million in 2018 before rising to USD259.3 million in 2019 and USD332 million in 2020.
Industry sources said wine imports soared as people preferred drinking by themselves at home instead of going to bars amid the coronavirus pandemic.
France was the largest exporter of wine to South Korea with USD162.6 million, followed by the United States with USD81.6 million, Chile with USD68.6 million and Spain with USD37.9 million.
The data also showed South Korea’s whisky imports hitting a five year high of USD154.3 million in the 11-month period, up 37.4 percent from a year earlier and marking the first on-year rise in three years, amid the liquor’s popularity among young drinkers.
In contrast, beer imports shrank 1.7 percent on-year to USD204.5 million during the period, marking the third consecutive year of decline.
The drop was attributed mainly to sluggish imports of Japanese brands on a boycott of goods from the neighbouring country due to Tokyo’s curbs on exports of key materials to Seoul.
Imports of Japanese beer came to USD6.02 million in the January-November period, slightly up from USD5.67 million in 2020 but down significantly from USD39.76 million in 2019 and USD78.30 million in 2018.
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