SEJONG, Sept. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — South Koreans’ direct purchases from foreign countries rose 20 percent in the first six months of 2019 from a year earlier as more consumers opted to buy quality goods at cheap prices, customs data showed Tuesday.
South Korean shoppers bought a total of US$1.58 billion worth of foreign goods directly via overseas online shopping malls in the January-June period, compared with $1.32 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korean Customs Service.
The number of overseas direct purchases jumped 42 percent on-year to 21.23 million transactions in the first half of this year, the data showed.
The customs agency said the value of South Korea’s direct purchases from foreign countries could surpass $3 billion this year, given strong demand for foreign goods during major shopping seasons, including Black Friday in the U.S.
Direct purchases of dietary supplements accounted for the lion’s share, with 4.55 million cases, while direct purchases of clothes and electronic goods jumped 72 percent on-year to 3.29 million cases, and 78 percent on-year to 3 million cases, respectively.
By country, the United States was the biggest seller with $768.5 million in the January-June period, up five percent from a year earlier, while $303 million worth of Chinese goods were shipped, up 49 percent from a year earlier.
Purchases from Europe and Japan rose 33 percent and 20 percent, to $351.1 million and $102.3 million, respectively.