This file photo, taken Oct. 6, 2020, shows people looking at vegetables while grocery shopping at a discount store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea's exports of agricultural and livestock products advanced 7.7 percent on-year in 2020 on the back of growing demand for healthier foodstuffs amid the new coronavirus pandemic, data showed Wednesday.
Outbound shipments of such goods reached a record high of $7.5 billion last year, compared with $7 billion posted in 2019, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Exports of ginseng jumped 9.3 percent to reach $229.8 million over the period, while those of kimchi shot up 37.6 percent to reach $144.5 million.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish normally made of fermented cabbage, salt and hot peppers.
Overseas sales of instant noodles rose 29.3 percent to $603 million as more people refrained from dining out amid the pandemic. Those of processed rice products gained 26.7 percent to $137 million as well.
Other major export goods included grapes and persimmon, which grew 32.5 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively.
Exports of paprika, strawberries and tomato, however, lost 5.5 percent, 1.2 percent and 10.1 percent over the period, respectively, the data showed.
In 2021, the agricultural ministry said it will continue making efforts to expand exports by penetrating deeper into new markets, including Australia and South America. (Yonhap)