SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s imports of Japanese consumer goods sank more than 23 percent in July amid a boycott stemming from a bilateral trade dispute, government data showed Monday.
Seoul brought in consumer goods worth US$253 million in July, down 23.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Korea Customs Service.
Japanese beer and cars bore the brunt of a local campaign against products from the neighboring country, which started a year ago in protest over Tokyo’s export controls.
Imports of Japanese beer tumbled 84.2 percent on-year to a mere $685,000 last month. South Korea was Japan’s largest export market for beer before the South Korean consumers’ boycott.
South Korean imports of autos from Japan plunged about 52 percent from a year earlier to $52.35 million in July.
Also hit hard were such products as cosmetics, beauty devices, fishing gear, processed goods, toys and video cameras.
In contrast, imports of Japanese motorcycles soared 229 percent on-year to $5.37 million, with those of pet feed and golf clubs surging 79 percent and 61 percent, respectively.
Since July last year, South Korean consumers have boycotted Japanese products in protest of Japan’s export restrictions of some key industrial materials shipped to South Korea.
Tokyo took the move as the top court in South Korea ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims of Japan’s wartime forced labor in 2018.