CUSTOMS DATA: NORTH KOREA IMPORTED USD30M ALCOHOL FROM CHINA IN 2019
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: Steve Barker/Unsplash
North Korea imported more than USD30 million worth of beer, spirits, wine and other alcohol from China last year, according to trade data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
As most countries around the world are strictly sanctioning North Korea, Chinese Customs’ trade data reflected to a high degree the country’s total import of alcohol in the year.
The data showed that beer was by far the most popular imported drinks in North Korea.
Beer import from China in 2019 was worth USD13m while the import of whisky, the second most popular category, was worth about USD3m.
The volume of beer imported was 35 million litres making the average price at 40 cents per litre.
The trade data also revealed imports of USD1m worth of wine and some USD2m of vodka over the course of 2019.
Other categories being imported include USD11,000 worth of rum, some USD1,200 worth of liqueurs and cordials and USD213 worth of gin.
North Korea has its own brewing, distilling and wine-making industries, their products are mostly domestically consumed.
The country’s brewing industry managed to export USD0.2m worth of beer to China in 2019, that compared to USD13m of beer imported.
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is known to have a penchant for wine, it was said that he can drink 10 bottles of Bordeaux in one night.
His father Kim Jong-Il loved brandy and was famously one of the world’s top buyers of Hennessy Cognac.
China Custom’s trade data was viewed by some North Korean observers as signs to show that there are people who can afford such luxuries inside the secretive country and that the quality of domestic products is not good enough to satisfy their palate.
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