The value of agricultural exports fell to $860 million in the January-August period from $920 million a year earlier. Exports to China accounted for 14.4 percent of all outbound shipments from 16.6 percent during the same period, according to the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp.
The slump came as Chinese consumers opted to buy fewer South Korean products in protest against the deployment of an advanced US missile defense system, called THAAD, in the country, which they see as running counter to their security interests.
South Korea has recently completed the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in a "tentative" step to counter missile threats from North Korea. The latest tally raises worries that the country will post a negative growth in the agricultural export field this year.
Seoul said it is targeting $7 billion in agricultural exports this year. But it is unlikely to reach the goal as Beijing is expected to take additional measures against Korean products in retaliation against the THAAD installation. (Yonhap)