The Korea Herald


Korea’s beer imports drop to all-time low

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : Jan. 24, 2022 - 15:40

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A customer reaches out for a pack of beers in a supermarket. (Yonhap) A customer reaches out for a pack of beers in a supermarket. (Yonhap)

South Korea’s imports of beer recorded an all-time low last year, amid a nationwide boycott of Japanese beer and other products, data showed Monday.

According to the Korea Customs Service, imports of beer decreased by 1.7 percent on-year to $223.1 million last year. The figure surpassed the record-low imports of $181.5 million in 2016.

The list of major beer import countries last year includes the Netherlands, followed by China, Belgium, Poland, Ireland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

“Driven by the county’s prolonged anti-Japan campaign, there has been a drastic decrease in imports of beer from Japan, which was one of the largest beer suppliers. So overall beer imports have been decreasing ever since,” an official from Korea Customs Service said.

In 2019, South Koreans started a boycott of Japanese products after Japan tightened controls on the export of semiconductor materials to the country.

Last year, imports from Japan, which accounted for 25 percent of the total beer imports in Korea in 2018, plunged by 91 percent to $6.8 million.

On the other hand, Korea’s export of beer to Japan surged on-year more than twofold to $6.6 million.

But Korea’s overall beer exports dropped by 12.5 percent to $59.9 million, hitting an all-time low since 2010.