Kimchi exports drop for 21st straight month

August 27, 2014
kimchi

(Korea Times file)

South Korea’s exports of kimchi, the country’s staple side dish, declined for the 21st straight month in July due mainly to falling demand from Japan and the weak yen, data showed Wednesday.

South Korea’s kimchi exports have been falling since November 2012 when they fell 3.8 percent from a month earlier, according to data from the state-run Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. (aT).

For the first seven months of the year, the country’s kimchi exports dropped 3.29 percent to 14,725 tons from 15,226 tons a year ago. The value of the exports also fell 5.71 percent to US$50.49 million.

The downward trend has much to do with the falling Japanese currency and lessening demand from Japan, which used to account for over 73 percent of South Korea’s kimchi export market.

“The biggest reason for the decrease in kimchi exports was the weakening price competitiveness of locally-made kimchi due to the depreciation of the Japanese yen,” said an aT official. “Another reason was the growing anti-Korean sentiment in Japan that hampered our promotion of kimchi products in the country.”

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