SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea has exported 20 percent more cosmetics during the first half of this year compared to the same time last year, despite political tensions with China in recent years over the deployment of the controversial THAAD missile defense system on its soil.
Data released on Monday by the Ministry of Health and Welfare showed that exports from South Korea’s health industry, which includes medicines, medical devices and cosmetics, reached over 5.4 billion dollars (6.1 trillion won), up 13.4 percent on-year, while imports also increased 8.2 percent, reaching 5.37 billion dollars.
Since last year, when the industry first posted a trade surplus of 100 million dollars, the trend appears to have continued during the first half of this year, particularly in cosmetics, with total export sales standing at 2.3 billion dollars, up 19.8 percent from last year.
When broken down in detail, skincare products dominated the export market, accounting for 52.7 percent, followed by cleansing products such as facial and body cleansers, which were estimated at 610 million dollars. Export sales for make-up products stood at around 300 million dollars.
When it came to countries that import South Korean cosmetics, China came out on top, accounting for 820 million dollars, closely followed by Hong Kong which has imported over 600 million dollars’ worth of cosmetics from South Korea.
The U.S. and Japan came next, with figures standing at 230 and 110 million dollars respectively.
In Canada, the Netherlands and France, a notable year-on-year export growth was observed, particularly in Canada where cosmetics sales rose by a whopping 155.9 percent.
When it came to medicines, South Korea continued to experience a trade deficit during the first two quarters this year, with import sales reaching 1.65 billion dollars, while import volumes grew 8.3 percent, reaching 2.85 billion dollars.
Sales of biosimilars accounted for nearly a quarter of all medicine exports, as South Korean pharmaceuticals recently obtained a business license in Europe and the U.S.
Similarly, South Korea’s medical device export sales went up 11.7 percent, reaching 1.47 billion dollars, while import volumes grew 8.3 percent, exceeding exports by nearly 300 million dollars.
Earlier today, Park Neung-hoo, the minister of Health and Welfare, paid a visit to the Korea Health Industry Development Institute to look back on progress and go over business projects.
During his visit, Park emphasized the growth of the health industry and said the government plans to continue its support for the industry.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)