SEOUL, April 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Shipments of alcoholic beverages continue to fall with a shrinking number of business gatherings and other changes in South Korean drinking culture.
The Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. and National Tax Service data showed that the country’s domestic shipments of alcoholic beverages in 2021 amounted to 3.01 million kiloliters, a decrease of 3.6 percent from the previous year and the seventh consecutive year of decline.
Shipments of beer, which typically accounts for a majority of all alcohol shipments, amounted to 1.53 million kiloliters last year, down by 1.8 percent. Soju shipments came in at 826,000 kiloliters, down by 5.6 percent.
The decreasing shipment of alcoholic beverages is largely attributed to the pandemic. The rate of decrease sped up from 1.7 percent in 2019 to 4.8 percent in 2020. The rate was still high in 2021 at 3.6 percent.
However, current trajectories show consumers may struggle to afford alcoholic beverages at current prices.
The price of beer at supermarkets and convenience stores increased by a whopping 5.9 percent, with the price of soju up 8.6 percent, exceeding the overall increase in consumer prices (4.8 percent).
At bars and restaurants the increase in the price of beer was even higher, up 10.5 percent, a level not seen since October 1998.
The price of soju was up 11.2 percent at bars and restaurants, the highest increase since November 2016, and more than double the increase in consumer prices.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)