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S. Korea's kimchi exports reach US$98.4 mln in 2010

All Headlines 14:24 January 06, 2011

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea kimchi exports rose 10 percent on-year to US$98.4 million last year thanks to solid overseas demand for the spicy fermented side dish, the government said Thursday.

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the outbound shipment total was the second-highest annual figure after the $102.7 million reported for 2004.

The annual increase is noteworthy because problems in supply and demand caused by bad weather effectively halted kimchi exports in September and October, the ministry said.

One reason for last year's gain was due to the rise in kimchi prices compared to 2009 and improved overseas consumer confidence for locally produced products, it said.

"A kilogram of kimchi cost $3.3, a gain of 6 percent from the year before, which reflects the willingness of consumers to pay more for the Korean-made side dish," it said. "In addition, diversification of export markets contributed to the increase."

As of last year, the traditional side dish was sold in 54 countries in places like Japan, the United States, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Japan remained the largest buyer of kimchi with exports topping $24.1 million, followed by $11.8 million for Taiwan and $8.6 million shipped to the United States.

For 2011, South Korea expects outbound shipments to reach at least $110 million, with local food producers planning to take more marketing steps.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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