Soju exports surpass US$100 mln for 1st time in 10 yrs: data

SEOUL, Exports of soju, distilled Korean liquor, topped US$100 million for the first time in 10 years in 2023, data showed Saturday. According to the Korea Customs Service, outbound shipments of soju reached $101.4 million in 2023, an increase of 8.7 percent from 2022. The last time soju exports surpassed $100 million was in 2013. Soju is a distilled liquor made of ethyl alcohol and water, with the addition of sweeteners. An industry source said soju sold overseas had been mostly consumed by South Korean residents in the past, but it has grown more popular among the locals thanks to the rise of Korean pop culture. As of only a few years ago, soju exports had been on the decline, falling from $97.6 million to $89.7 million in 2019 and down to $82.4 million in 2021. The figure bounced back to $93.3 million in 2022 and has been on an upward trajectory since. Among countries, Japan was the largest importer of South Korean soju with a little over $30 million, followed by the United States with $23.6 millio n. Source: Yonhap News Agency