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Agro-food exports to China rebound in September

South Korea's food and agricultural exports to China rebounded for the first time in six months in September, thanks to strong sales of gingseng, ramyeon and beer, the government said Wednesday.

Outbound shipments of food and agricultural products to China was estimated at $108 million in September, up 1.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Sea food products, such as dried laver, were not included on the list.

Sales of Korean food products in China, its largest trading partner, marked a year-on-year decline since March due to rising non-tariff barriers and negative sentiment among Chinese consumers following Seoul's anti-missile deployment. The move was strongly opposed by Beijing. 

Korean ginseng (Yonhap)
Korean ginseng (Yonhap)

Despite the unfavorable business environment, Korean gingseng, ramyeon and beer continued to enjoy popularity among Chinese consumers, which drove up overall agro-food sector sales, the ministry said.

Sales of gingseng jumped 66 percent in September compared to a year ago, while those of beer and ramyeon soared 105 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

Agro-food exports to China amounted to $700 million in the first nine months of this year, slipping 9.9 percent from a year ago, it noted. (Yonhap)