SEOUL, March 7 (Korea Bizwire) — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) became the second-largest export market for South Korean agricultural and livestock products last year as the country’s trade with China was hit by a diplomatic row, a report said Wednesday.
South Korea exported $1.22 billion worth of agricultural and livestock products to 10 ASEAN member states in 2017, up 9.9 percent from a year earlier, the Korea Rural Economic Institute said. Strawberries, wheat, grapes, fresh ginseng and chicken were the main export items to the economic bloc.
Japan was South Korea’s biggest agro-livestock export market with $1.36 billion worth of shipments, while China came third at $1.1 billion, the state-funded institute said.
It was the first time that ASEAN ranked above China in terms of agro-livestock shipments, as Chinese authorities implemented strengthened quarantine measures and regulations on Korean products amid strained diplomatic ties over Seoul’s deployment of an American missile defense system, called THAAD, last year.
“As trade of agricultural and livestock products between South Korea and China shrank due to the THAAD retaliation last year, ASEAN took over China to become South Korea’s second-largest agro-livestock export market,” the institute said in a report.
The total exports of South Korean agriculture and livestock products gained 7.1 percent on-year to $7.15 million last year, it noted.