Asia’s fourth largest economy, South Korea, is uncorking more wine bottles than ever. The country’s wine consumption in the first seven months of the year hit a fresh high coming off a record year of drinking in 2020 despite pandemic.
According to the data released by Korea Customs Service, the country’s wine imports from January to July more than doubled to US$325 million, compared with the same period last year.
The consumption value is already close to South Korea’s total wines drunk for the entire year of 2020.
The country imported an all-time high US$330 million worth of wine last year, up 27.3% from a year earlier, as more people drank at home alone due to the pandemic.
In the month of July alone, South Korea’s wine imports swelled by 74% to US$45 million, when the government imposed a stringent ban on social gatherings.
The country’s beer imports however dropped 19.2% year-on-year to US$227 million in 2020, as imports from Japan waned against growing homegrown craft beer trends.
All in all, South Korea’s liquor imports expanded 26.2% year-on-year to US$800 million in first seven months..
Its exports mainly led by Soju however fell 10.3% on-year to US$374 million in 2020.
By value, France was the leading exporter to Korea last year with US$93.48 million (28.3% of market share), followed by Chile (US$58.55 million), the U.S. (US$56.03 million) and Italy (US$48.73 million).