Exports of food items, agro products hit record high in 2023 in South Korea

South Korea
Photo credit: Yonhap

South Korea's exports of farm produce and food items reached an all-time high last year on the back of the popularity of Korean culture, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday, Yonhap reports.

Outbound shipments of agricultural goods and related food items came to $9.16 billion in 2023, up 3 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Exports of farm produce and related food items have been on a steady increase in recent years from $6.1 billion in 2015 to $7.3 billion in 2019.

By item, sales of instant noodles, or "ramyeon" in Korean, jumped 24.4 percent on-year to $952.4 million in 2023, and those of beverages rose 11.5 percent to $572 million.

Exports of snacks advanced 6 percent to $659.1 million, and instant rice and other rice-based items saw sales climb 18.9 percent to $216.3 million.

Exports of kimchi rose 10.5 percent to $155.6 million, and those of strawberries and grapes also jumped 21.2 percent and 34.6 percent, respectively, the data showed.

By destination, exports to China went up 8.2 percent on-year to $1.42 billion, and those to the United States rose 8.7 percent to $1.31 billion.

Apart from food sales, exports from the related industry sectors, including smart farms and agricultural machines, also reached a record high of $2.98 billion last year, rising 1.2 percent on-year.

"The government set this year's target of K-food exports at $13.5 billion and plans to announce comprehensive growth strategies," a ministry official said.

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