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Korea’s coffee product imports reaches record high last year

South Korea’s imports of coffee products posted a record-high last year, with the domestic coffee market continuing to expand, government data showed Friday.

Inbound shipments of coffee products, such as unroasted beans, roasted beans and coffee capsules reached 159,000 tons as of end-December last year, a 10.7 percent increase compared to 2015, data from the Korea Customs Service said.

It was the largest amount recorded since the Korea Customs Service started compiling the related data in 2000. 


Imports of unroasted beans made up the largest proportion of the imports, with 89.7 percent, followed by roasted beans with 6.3 percent and instant coffee products with 2.9 percent.

The increase in imports of coffee products was attributed to the expanding coffee market here, which reached 6.4 trillion won ($5.7 billion) in 2016, compared to 5.7 trillion won in 2015 and 4.9 trillion won in 2014, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The market size of coffee franchises also increased to 4 trillion won last year from 2.6 trillion won in 2014, up by 53.8 percent.

Korea imported the largest amount from Brazil, which took up 20 percent of the total. Vietnam came in second with 19.2 percent, and Columbia third with 16.2 percent.

Meanwhile, imports of coffee products in the first three months of this year recorded 40,000 tons, up 7 percent on-year.

By Shim Woo-hyun (