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 agricultural exports rose nearly 7 percent on-year over the January-November period, data showed Wednesday, setting a fresh high despite the new coronavirus pandemic.
Outbound shipments of agricultural products came to $6.8 billion over the first 11 months of 2020, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The segment was among a handful of winners in South Korean exports, which suffered from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic this year.
Shipments to Southeast Asia and India came to $1.39 billion, soaring 8.4 percent.
The region accounted for around 20.4 percent of the total exports of the sector over the period, slightly rising from 19.6 percent posted in 2018.
Exports to India advanced 34.7 percent over the period, followed by Malaysia with 23.1 percent and Singapore with 19.8 percent, the data showed.
"(The region) has emerged as a new growth engine for South Korea's exports of agricultural goods," the ministry said in a statement.
By segment, exports of noodles advanced 15.1 percent, and those of sauce products increased 15.8 percent.
The ministry expected outbound shipments of foodstuffs may rise further down the road on the back of a major free-trade pact signed last month.
In November, members of ASEAN, along with its dialogue partners -- South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand -- inked the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. (Yonhap)