South Korea's exports of agricultural products rose 6.5 percent on-year in the January-September period, data showed Tuesday, on the back of strong overseas demand for kimchi and other traditional fermented products.
Outbound shipments of agricultural goods reached $5.51 billion over the first nine months of 2020, up $5.18 billion posted over the same period a year earlier, according to the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
By category, outbound shipments of fresh products moved up 0.2 percent on-year to $986 million. Those of processed goods also increased 8 percent to hit $4.5 billion.
The increase was largely attributable to the rising demand for healthy food items overseas amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
Exports of kimchi reached a record high of $18 million over the cited period, soaring 38.5 percent on-year. Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish normally made of fermented cabbage, salt and hot peppers, and it is eaten with almost all meals.
South Korea also diversified export destinations for kimchi products. Japan, which accounted for 80 percent of the outbound shipments in 2012, took up around 50 percent over the January-September period.
Instead, shipments to the United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia sharply gathered ground, according to the ministry.
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