SEOUL, March 11 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s health care and cosmetics exports soared more than 38 percent to an all-time high in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry data showed Thursday.
The country’s overseas shipments of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical devices stood at US$21.70 billion last year, up 38.3 percent from the previous year and a fresh high, according to the data from the Korea Health Industry Development Institute.
The new record came as the pandemic led to a surge in exports of biopharmaceuticals, coronavirus test kits and other related medical devices.
Exports of medicine reached $8.43 billion last year, up 62.6 percent from the previous year, with those of disinfectants spiking about 3,700 percent to $258 million.
Germany was the largest market for South Korean medicines, followed by the United States and Japan.
Overseas shipments of medical devices stood at $5.70 billion last year, up 44 percent from the prior year, helped by a jump in coronavirus test kits.
Cosmetics exports climbed 15.6 percent on-year to $7.57 billion in 2020. China was the biggest importer of South Korean cosmetics products, trailed by Hong Kong, the U.S. and Japan, according to the data.