Coffee and cigarettes will be forever associated with South and North America, but it is Vietnam and the Philippines that are their largest exporters to Korea, according to Korea Customs Service data released Wednesday.
In the first half of the year, Vietnam accounted for 20.7 percent of coffee imports to Korea, followed by Colombia with 18.6 percent, Honduras with 18.6 percent and Brazil with 17.8 percent. Worldwide Vietnam is the third largest coffee producer and fourth largest exporter. For instant coffee imports, the U.S. was first with 29 percent in the Korean market, followed by Brazil with 24 percent, the Netherlands with 10 percent and Egypt with 8 percent.
The Philippines exported cigarettes worth US$6.88 million to Korea in the first half, making up 34 percent of Korea's tobacco imports. But Filipino cigarettes are not marked as such, because they are branded under the U.S. tobacco giant Phillip Morris. Australian cigarettes, which account for 24 percent of Korea's tobacco imports, are also sold in the name of Phillip Morris.