SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s exports of farm and fishery products surged more than 15 percent on-year to touch a new record high in 2021, government data showed Wednesday.
Outbound shipments of agricultural, livestock and fisheries goods came to U$11.36 billion last year, up 15.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the agriculture and fisheries ministries.
It marks the first time in history that South Korea’s exports of those products have exceeded the $10 billion level.
Exports of agricultural and livestock products expanded 12.9 percent on-year to $8.54 billion, with that of fisheries goods soaring 22.4 percent to $2.82 billion.
Officials said fresh farm produce and processed goods led the increase in overseas shipments of agricultural products and foodstuffs amid the popularity of health foods and home meal replacements.
Exports of ginseng products surged 16.3 percent in 2021 from the previous year, with those of kimchi and processed rice products climbing 10.7 percent and 18.1 percent, respectively.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish normally made of fermented cabbage, salt and hot peppers, and is eaten with almost all meals.
Overseas shipments of grapes jumped 24.1 percent last year from 2020, and those of strawberries expanded 20 percent.
Among fisheries goods, exports of dried seaweed surged 15.4 percent from a year earlier to around $700 million in 2021, marking the 11th consecutive year of on-year gains.
Dried seaweed, called “gim” in Korean, is usually roasted with sesame oil and fine salt, and served as a side dish in Korean dining. Snacks made of gim have gained popularity among foreigners in recent years.
The fisheries ministry said South Korea exported dried seaweed to 114 countries last year thanks to the popularity of Korean pop culture across the globe.