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S. Korea's farm goods exports hit record high in 2020

Bibigo kimchi (CJ Cheiljedang)
Bibigo kimchi (CJ Cheiljedang)
South Korea's exports of agriculture products reached an all-time high of $7.57 billion last year on the back of strong demand for kimchi and processed foods, data showed Tuesday.

The record amount represents a 7.7 percent rise from the previous year, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

By category, outbound shipments of fresh products rose 3.4 percent on-year to $1.43 billion. Those of processed goods also increased 8.8 percent to hit $6.14 billion.

The ministry said exports of kimchi, a traditional Korean side dish usually made of fermented cabbage, salt and hot peppers, soared 37.6 percent to reach $144.5 million.

Outbound shipments of ginseng-related products, widely consumed as health supplements in South Korea, also grew to reach $230 million last year amid growing popularity of health products during the pandemic.

Exports of processed rice goods, such as home meals like porridge, grew 26.7 percent to $137.6 million, while those of instant noodles topped $600 million for the first time.

By region, exports to the United States jumped 38 percent from the previous year to $1.21 billion on the back of demand for ramen, kimchi and processed rice products.

Outbound shipments to Southeast Asia and India rose 9.1 percent to $1.56 billion thanks to increased home meal demand due to the pandemic. (Yonhap)