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Export of ramyun, beer, dried laver to China surge despite THAAD row

Exports of South Korean ramyun instant noodles, beer and dried laver to China have surged despite the diplomatic row over the deployment of an advanced anti-missile system here, government data showed Monday.

According to data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Rural Affairs exports of the three products from January through August of this year reached to around $150 million. This is equivalent to 18 percent of the country's processed food and farm exports in the same period that was valued at $856.2 million.

By product export of dried laver or gim hit $64.9 million up 46.2 percent on-year, while numbers for instant noodles jumped 45.7 percent to $56.5 million.

Outbound shipments of beer, although smaller in volume, surge 106.8 percent to $29 million, the latest data showed.

The ministry said the rise in demand for the three products are in direct contrast to the decline in other goods following Seoul's decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense on its soil.

Since mid March when the THAAD issue took center stage in bilateral relations, exports of processed food, farm and sea products to South Korea's largest trading partner have dropped sharply.

In the first eight months of 2017, shipments of powdered milk, biscuits and abalone have all fallen by double digits compared to the year before.

The ministry said that with the deployment of four missile launchers last month. Beijing will likely take steps to further restrict the import of locally made goods.

Chinese consumer groups influenced by the government have boycotted South Korean products, claiming that the THAAD hurt the country's security interest. Seoul has countered that the anti-missile system is only to cope with growth North Korean missile and nuclear threats.

The ministry said the sale of gim soared because of poor output in China, while popularity of locally made ramyun and diversified distribution helped sales. Beer exports rose as greater numbers were shipped under original development manufacturing arrangement involving Chinese partners. (Yonhap)