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S. Korean health care exports hit record high in 2020 amid pandemic

All News 14:15 March 11, 2021

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's health care and cosmetics exports soared more than 38 percent to an all-time high in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry data showed Thursday.

The country's overseas shipments of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical devices stood at US$21.70 billion last year, up 38.3 percent from the previous year and a fresh high, according to the data from the Korea Health Industry Development Institute.

The new record came as the pandemic led to a surge in exports of biopharmaceuticals, coronavirus test kits and other related medical devices.

Exports of medicine reached $8.43 billion last year, up 62.6 percent from the previous year, with those of disinfectants spiking about 3,700 percent to $258 million.

Germany was the largest market for South Korean medicines, followed by the United States and Japan.

Overseas shipments of medical devices stood at $5.70 billion last year, up 44 percent from the prior year, helped by a jump in coronavirus test kits.

Cosmetics exports climbed 15.6 percent on-year to $7.57 billion in 2020. China was the biggest importer of South Korean cosmetics products, trailed by Hong Kong, the U.S. and Japan, according to the data.

S. Korean health care exports hit record high in 2020 amid pandemic - 1


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