SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s wine imports rose more than 9 percent in the first eight months of the year as more people enjoyed drinking at home and alone due to the coronavirus outbreak, data showed Thursday.
South Korea imported US$189 million worth of wines in the January-August period, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea International Trade Association.
In particular, wine imports spiked 43 percent on-year in August, compared with a 4.3 percent decline a year earlier, due to a rise in the number of people vacationing at home.
South Korea’s wine imports increased 9.7 percent in 2017, 16.2 percent in 2018 and 6.3 percent in 2019.
Imports of French wines were the largest at $53 million in the eighth-month period, followed by those from Chile, the United States, Italy and Spain. Imports of U.S. wines shot up 51 percent.
In contrast, imports of whisky sank 26.6 percent on-year to $74 million during the period as people shunned drinking at bars due to virus-caused social distancing measures.
Beer imports also plunged 22.1 percent to $157 million. Imports of Japanese beers tumbled 90.6 percent to $4 million due to a boycott of Japanese products here, according to the data.