News Digest: South Korea’s Agricultural Exports Reach $5.8 Billion In 2010, As Confidence In Product Quality Increases
Better quality control and more demand from abroad pushed South Korea’s agricultural exports to a record $5.8 billion in 2010. The Ministry of Food, Forestry, and Fisheries cited the export of ginseng, dried laver, beverages and processed food as the main drivers of the 22.3 percent growth in exports over 2009’s US$4.81 billion. Tuna, sugar, and tobacco were among the 10 export products that went beyond the US$100 million mark, again topping 2009’s 8 products. With Japan as its biggest market for farm exports at US$1.8 billion, followed by China at US$786.7 million and ASEAN at US$719.8 million, South Korea’s exports of other products such as strawberries, flowers, mushrooms, and oysters also increased at double-digits, while traditional rice wine makgeolli, kimchi, and citron tea products also grew quickly. It aims to grow exports again by 29 percent in 2011 to reach US$7.6 billion, as confidence in South Korean product quality continues to improve.