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Korean chicken soup exports to U.S. jump in 2015

All News 09:44 January 25, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- Korean traditional ginseng chicken soup has made an aggressive foray into the United States since its first shipment in late 2014, boosting stagnant overseas sales from a slump in Japan, data showed Monday.

South Korea first exported "samgyetang," a famous local dish consumed to better endure summer heat, to the U.S. in August 2014 after 10 years of efforts to enter one of the world's biggest poultry export markets.

Outbound shipments of samgyetang stood at 2,196 tons worth US$9.85 million in 2015, up 27.8 percent from a year ago, data by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) showed.

The figure turned to growth for the first time in four years thanks to increased shipments to the U.S.

Overseas samgyetang sales peaked at 2,888 tons in 2011 before steadily decreasing from 2012 to 2014 due to slipping sales in Japan, the biggest export market, the KITA said.

Market watchers expected samgyetang sales to take off this year on the back of strong demand among 14 million Asian consumers in the U.S.

Overseas shipments are expected to further gain momentum as a free trade agreement with China, South Korea's largest trading partner, took effect in December to lower tariffs and other trade barriers.

The two nations have agreed to set customs measures to allow the South's exports of ginseng chicken soup to Beijing.

Samgyetang is considered to be one of the healthiest dishes as it contains Korean ginseng. It is also considered a favorite summertime dish among the vast majority of Koreans who believe in the timeless principle of fighting heat with heat.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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