Based on Korean export data provided by Korea Customs and Trade Development Institution, Korea’s exports of agricultural, fishery and forestry exports rose 4.22 percent in 2012 over 2011 to $7.97bn
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: KS1319
Korea - Republic of
Korea's Agricultural Exports
M. Kathryn Ting
FAS Seoul Staff
Based on Korean export data provided by Korea Customs and Trade Development Institution, Korea’s exports of
agricultural, fishery and forestry exports rose 4.22 percent in 2012 over 2011 to $7.97 billion. Key Korean
agricultural exports include fish and seafood, leather, tobacco products and food preparations. Korea’s top three
agricultural export markets are Japan, China and the United States.
Based on Korean Customs data, as reported by the Global Trade Atlas, Korea’s exports of agricultural, fishery
and forestry exports rose 4.22 percent in 2012 over 2011 to a record $7.97 billion. Korea’s top five markets –
Japan, China, the United States, Hong Kong, and Vietnam – together account for a combined 65 percent of total
Korean agricultural exports (Figure 1.) Korean exports to the United States rose by 9.69 percent in 2012, while
exports to Vietnam and Japan rose 22.15 and 2.26 percent, respectively. Exports to China and Hong Kong fell by
3.79 and 0.97 percent, respectively.
Figure 1 – Korean Exports to Top Five Markets
Fish and Seafood (Chapter 3) is Korea’s top agricultural export, accounting for 1.7 billion, or 22 percent of total
ag exports. Miscellaneous Food (Chapter 21), Leather and fur (HS 4107), Baking Related (Chapter 19),
Beverages (Chapter 22) , Tobacco (Chapter 24) and Sugars (Chapter 17) were also leading export categories.
Key individual products are highlighted in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Korea’s Top Exports
1Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry covers products under chapters 1-24 of the HS classification, essential oils
(3301), casein (3501), destrins (3505), sorbitol (382460), hides, skins and leather (4101-4111), furskins (4301,
4302), logs, sawn wood and panel products (4401-4413), wool (5101-5103) and cotton (5201-5203).
Korea’s agriculture, fish and forestry exports to the United States in 2012 reached a record $606.5 million, up 9.7
percent from 2011. Key export items include food preparations ($68 million); pasta-particularly ramen noodles
($56 million); non-alcoholic beverages ($53 million), frozen fish ($51 million), sauces, mixed condiments and
seasonings ($27 million), fresh pears ($26 million), and mollusks ($23 million.)
Korea’s goal for 2013 is to increase agricultural exports by 5-6 percent. Achieving that mark will be challenged
by a continuing slow global economy and the depreciation of the Japanese yen as Japan represents the largest
export market for Korean agricultural products.