October 04, 2023 11:59
Japanese beer reclaimed the lead in Korea's imported beer market from its Chinese and Dutch rivals in the January to August period.
The Korea Customs Service said on Monday that 36,564 tons of Japanese beer were imported in the period, overtaking Chinese beer (32,153 tons) and Dutch beer (29,243 tons) and accounting for 21.9 percent of all imported beers, up a whopping 238.4 percent on-year.
Imports of Japanese beer continued to increase to 7,984 tons in July and to 8,644 tons in August, even amid controversy over the release of wastewater from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The August figure was the highest since June 2019 (9,462 tons).
Japanese beer is also expected to retake the top spot in annual terms this year. It topped the imported beer market here from 2011 to 2018, but lost its grip as Japan imposed export restrictions in July 2019 amid a spat over compensation for wartime forced labor victims that saw Korea boycott Japanese products.
But its imports have rebounded since the start of the year amid improved bilateral relations.
In the meantime, imports were led by beer from Belgium (2019), the Netherlands (2020 and 2021) and China (2022).
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