Imports of wines from the U.S. and the EU are soaring as their prices fall due to the free trade agreements with those regions.
The Korea Wines and Spirits Importers Association on Monday said the country imported American wines worth US$8.63 million between January and July, up 19.4 percent on-year. The Korea-U.S. FTA went into effect in March.
Imports of European wines also grew during the same period in the wake of the Korea-EU FTA, which took effective in July 2011. Spanish wines saw a 19.7 percent increase, German wines 19.9 percent, Italian wines 4 percent and French wines 9.8 percent. Greek wine imports tripled and Portuguese wine grew 2.2 times.
According to E-Mart, the market share of American wines grew from 9.9 percent to 11 percent since the Korea-U.S. FTA, while that of Spanish wines rose slightly from 6.1 percent to 6.9 percent and that of German wines from 1.7 percent to 2 percent.
Nara Cellar, a wine importer, said, "The domestic wine market is diversifying as the prices of American and European wines are about 10 percent lower thanks to the FTAs and an increasing number of consumers want to try new varieties."