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S. Korea's exports of cosmetics products ranked third in the world last year

Stacks of import-export cargo containers at a port in Incheon, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)
Stacks of import-export cargo containers at a port in Incheon, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s combined exports of cosmetics products increased 16.1 percent to 8.28 trillion won ($7.28 billion) in 2020, ranking third in the world, following France and the US, data showed Monday.

According to the data released by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, China was the biggest importer of South Korean cosmetic products last year at $3.8 billion, followed by Hong Kong with $714 million, the United States with $640 million and Japan with $639 million. Vietnam’s imports came in at $263 million.

Thanks to increased sales overseas, South Korea saw a surplus of 7 trillion won in cosmetic products trade in 2020, up from a surplus of 6.15 trillion won a year earlier, the data showed.

The country’s trade balance in the given segment has stayed in the black since 2012, when it first logged a surplus of 100.6 billion won.

Cosmetics products accounted for 14.3 percent of the country’s combined $44.86 billion trade surplus last year.

Cosmetics products’ share of the total trade surprise has been on the rise, from just 3.5 percent in 2016 to 4 percent in 2017, 7.1 percent in 2018 and 13.6 percent in 2019.

The 7 trillion-won surplus reported from the cosmetics trade was larger than those from home appliances and smartphones, which stood at $7 billion and $4.1 billion.

Medical supplies logged a trade surprise of $7.2 billion.

Meanwhile, South Korea‘s total imports of cosmetics stood at $1.16 billion last year. France was the biggest exporter to South Korea with $366 million, followed by the United States with $279 million and Japan with $119 million.

The domestic production of cosmetics products in South Korea last year decreased 6.8 percent on-year to reach 15.16 trillion won.

The production of sanitizer products jumped 20.5 percent. But the production of makeup products fell 21.5 percent on-year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The production of eye makeup products, however, remained relatively unaffected by the pandemic, going slightly up by 0.3 percent.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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