South Korea’s agriculture and fisheries exports in the first half of the year grew at a modest pace from a year earlier on growing popularity of South Korean foodstuff especially in Southeast Asian countries, the government said Friday.
Shipments of agriculture and fisheries products in the January-June period reached $3.72 billion, up 5.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
The report, apparently, comes as a little disappointment to the ministry, which earlier predicted the country’s food exports for the whole of 2012 would jump 30 percent to over $10 billion for the first time in its history.
Ministry officials said the first-half tally still spelled a success, considering the country’s total exports, including shipments of farm products, grew only 0.7 percent on-year. They also noted food exports naturally tend to increase by a greater margin during the autumn harvest season.
“The ministry will do its utmost to help expand the country’s exports as significantly more shipments of agriculture and fisheries products take place toward the end of a year following the fall harvest season,” Agriculture minister Suh Kyu-yong was quoted as saying.
Japan continued to be the largest importer of South Korean farm products, purchasing $1.15 billion worth of products in the first half, up 4.6 percent from the same period last year.
Shipments to the 10-member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations jumped 18.4 percent on-year to $558 million. The gain is believed to have been partly driven by a strong wave of Korean pop culture, called “hallyu” in Korean.