SEJONG, Mar. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — South Koreans’ direct purchases from foreign countries rose to a record high last year on rising demand for cheaper and different products, customs data showed Tuesday.
A total of US$2.11 billion worth of foreign goods was directly bought by South Korean shoppers via overseas internet shopping malls last year, up 29.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service (KTS).
The customs office said the strengthening of the Korean won versus the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen, combined with massive promotion events, helped fuel South Koreans’ purchases from international shopping sites.
The number of overseas direct purchases jumped 35.6 percent on-year to a record 23.59 million won over the same period, the data showed.
Foreign foodstuffs were the most popular item among South Korean customers, and foreign cosmetics and electronics goods were also popular items, the data showed.
The United States was the biggest seller with $1.21 billion last year, up 15 percent from a year earlier.
Europe came next with $418 million, followed by China with $272 million and Japan with $137 million, the data showed.