Korea's Cosmetics Exports Hit Record

  • By Lee Ki-hun

    April 26, 2021 13:20

    Korea's cosmetics exports reached a new record last year. According to the Korea Customs Service, Korea exported US$6.12 billion of cosmetics in 2020, up 14.8 percent from the previous year (US$1=W1,117).

    Since COVID-19 vaccination began in major countries in the first quarter of this year, exports grew even faster at 32.4 percent on-year.

    In terms of trade balance, Korea has been in the black since 2013, with China, the biggest importer, accounting for half of the shipments to reach a record $3.05 billion last year.

    Hong Kong came next, but it was the only country among the top five countries where shipments dwindled. Japan, the fourth-biggest importer of Korean cosmetics in 2018 and 2019, moved up to third place last year and to second in the first quarter this year.

    Skincare products led sales with an increase of 24 percent last year, perhaps because wearing face masks caused various skin issues, and their proportion in total exports rose to 57.9 percent.

    Face makeup and lipstick struggled for the same reason, down 5.9 percent and 3.1 percent, but eye makeup did well with an increase of 8.5 percent. Exports of nail products also rose 25.8 percent.

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