The Korea Herald


Exports of traditional Korean rice wine plunge

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Dec. 18, 2017 - 15:23

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South Korea’s exports of traditional rice wine, or makgeolli, plunged by more than 75 percent last year compared to five years ago, according to a market report Monday.

Last year, outbound shipments of Korean rice wine fell to $12.87 million, down by 75.6 percent from 2011, when combined shipments reached their highest level of $52.74 million, according to data compiled by Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

The figure for this year is expected to go down further, as exports of Korean rice wine came to $11.1 million between January and November, down by 4.6 percent on-year, the report showed.

The declining shipments of Korean rice wine are in contrast to Japanese rice wine, or sake. Last year, annual exports of sake came to $143.61 million, up 30.2 percent on-year, according to the data. Exports of the Chinese alcohol baijiu also grew by 172.7 percent to reach $467.89 million during the same period.

The downturn of Korean rice wine is due to its low price, said the report. The average price of exported makgeolli was $0.99 per liter last year, while the comparable figures for sake and baijiu came to $7.28 and $28.65, respectively.

By Shim Woo-hyun (