SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Exports of South Korea-made cosmetics soared more than 10-fold over the past seven years, government data showed Wednesday, as the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, fueled robust demand from China and other Asian countries.
Outbound shipments of makeup products reached US$4.18 billion in 2016, compared to $451.15 million tallied in 2009, according to the data by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The 2016 figure also marks a 43.7-percent increase from a year earlier, with an annual average growth of 43.8 percent over the 2013-2015 period, the data showed.
China was the biggest buyer of South Korean beauty products, importing $1.57 billion million last year, accounting for 37.5 percent of the country’s entire cosmetics exports.
Such heavy export dependence on China, however, would undermine the overall cosmetics industry if Beijing imposes certain economic sanctions in opposition to South Korea’s decision to install an advanced U.S. missile defense system on its soil.
Chinese authorities have in recent months banned imports of many South Korean cosmetics while rejecting South Korean airlines’ requests to fly chartered flights to China.
Hong Kong came in second, buying 29.8 percent of the overall outbound shipments by South Korea, followed by the United States with 8.3 percent and Japan with 4.4 percent, the data showed.
In an effort to help local cosmetics firms make further inroads into the Chinese market, the ministry said it will pick 10 small and medium-sized firms this year to export their items to major cities such as Shenyang.
Also, the ministry will operate a website to provide detailed news and information regarding the Chinese market.