SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s imports of Japanese beer plunged nearly 86 percent in 2020 due to a local boycott of goods from the neighboring country, data showed Thursday.
Seoul brought in US$5.67 million worth of Japanese beer last year, down 85.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service and the liquor industry.
The tumble follows a drop to $39.76 million in 2019 from a peak of $78.30 million a year earlier.
South Koreans launched the boycott in protest of Japan’s export restrictions of some key industrial materials to South Korea in August in 2019. Tokyo made the move as the top court in South Korea ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims of Japan’s wartime forced labor in 2018.
Last year, Japan was the ninth-largest exporter of beer to South Korea, down from the No. 2 spot in 2019 and the top status in 2018.
The Netherlands clinched the top spot with $40.70 million, followed by the United States with $34.95 million and China with $32.34 million.
Industry sources said it will likely be difficult to expect a recovery in imports of Japanese beer for the time being, despite a slight upturn in recent months.
South Korea’s full-year beer imports sank 19.2 percent on-year to $226.92 million last year due to the plunge in imports of Japanese beer, according to the data.