Wine Imports Start to Rebound

Korea's wine imports shrank significantly in the aftermath of the global financial crisis but began to see a reversal last year.

According to data recently released by the Korea International Trade Association and Korea Customs Service, total wine imports fell 10.6 percent between 2008 and 2012 but rebounded in 2013 to $171.8 million. The gross weight stood at 32,558 tons in 2013, up 15.9 percent from 2012.

The largest wine exporter to Korea last year was France, followed by Chile, Italy, the U.S., Spain and Australia. Imports from Chile grew 19.4 percent to $36.4 million from a year earlier, while those from Spain exceeded $10 million for the first time to reach $13.71 million, a 37.6 percent increase.

Argentina saw a 24.6 percent increase to $3.24 million, placing seventh on the list. South Africa climbed to eighth after sales to Korea rose 40 percent to $2.91 million.

On the other hand, wine imports from Australia fell 11.4 percent to $7.33 million last year from $8.27 million in 2012.

German wine also appears to be less popular here. Imports fell from $2.92 million to $2.72 million over the same period, relegating Germany to Korea's ninth-largest wine exporter, down from seventh.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 04, 2014 10:11 KST