Beer imports slip for first time in a decade

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Beer imports slip for first time in a decade

Korean imports of beer fell for the first time last year in a decade, largely due to a nationwide boycott of Japanese products amid a yearlong trade dispute, data showed Sunday.
Imports of beer stood at 360,000 tons in 2019, down 7.2 percent from 387,000 tons a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Korea Customs Service.
It marked the first on-year decrease since 2009, a sharp turnaround from a 17.1 percent hike in 2018 and a 50.2 percent jump in 2017.
Local vendors largely attributed the fall to weak demand for Japanese beer products.
Since July last year, Korean consumers have waged an anti-Japan campaign in protest of Tokyo's export regulations on some key industrial materials crucial to the production of chips and displays.
Whiskey imports also dipped last year, extending their fall to a third consecutive year.
Inbound shipments of whiskey stood at 19,800 tons in 2019, down 0.7 percent from 19,900 tons in 2018 and 20,200 tons in 2017.
The decrease began amid the country's implementation of a new anti-corruption act in 2016, industry sources said.
The introduction of a 52-hour work system in 2018 also pulled down whiskey consumption, they said.
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