SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — South Koreans on average consumed alcoholic beverages 8.5 days per month in 2019, a poll showed Sunday, with a growing number of people drinking at home this year due to the virus pandemic.
It marked a slight drop from 8.8 days posted in 2017 and 2018, according to the report released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Around 43 percent of South Koreans picked beer as the most preferred type of alcoholic beverage, followed by soju, a distilled liquor made with grain, with 25 percent. Another 18 percent said they prefer other traditional drinks.
The survey was based on respondents who consumed alcohol more than once a month and had experiences of drinking traditional beverages over the past six months.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 65 percent of the respondents said they have changed the locations at which they drink, with the majority of them consuming alcoholic beverages alone or with family members at home.
The report also showed that in 2019, South Korea shipped US$382 million worth of alcoholic beverages, with beer accounting for the highest volume of $145 million, followed by soju with $89 million.
By destination, Japan was the top buyer of South Korean alcoholic beverages at $151 million, followed by China with $102 million.
South Korea’s imports of alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, came to $1 billion in 2019, with beer accounting for $280 million of the volume, followed by wine with $269 million, the data showed. Imports of whiskey products reached $153 million.
By country, the United States accounted for the largest slice of $202 million, trailed by Britain and France with $147 million and $95 million, respectively. Imports from Japan were estimated at $59 million.