Agriculture Ministry Reports Increase in Agro-Fisheries Exports


The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs reported on Monday that South Korea’s exports of agricultural and fisheries products had seen a slight year-on-year increase as of mid-September, due to the global demand for instant noodles and other food items spurred by the rising popularity of Korean culture.

From January to the second week of September, exports of agro-fisheries goods totaled US$6.31 billion, a 0.4 percent hike compared to the same period last year.

Sales of instant noodles, or “ramyeon” in Korean, rose 23.5 percent to $657 million, while those of beverages grew 9 percent to $422 million. Rice-based food items, such as gimbap, saw a 16.2 percent increase in exports to $145 million, and Kimchi exports jumped 9.9 percent to $113 million.

Strawberries and pears exports also experienced a 26.9 percent and 18.1 percent growth, respectively.

The ministry official attributed the growth to the increasing fame of Korean food items due to the popularity of Korean movies, dramas and music, as well as the increased demand for ready-to-eat food products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exports to China went up 11.3 percent year-on-year to $977 million, and those to the United States increased 3.8 percent to $910 million. Sales in the European Union and Britain also rose 1.2 percent.

The government has promised to provide support for exporters in order to expand into new markets and ensure the quality of fresh food items.

This file photo from Sept. 15, 2023, shows a person shopping for ramyeon at a supermarket in Seoul. (Yonhap)

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