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S. Korea's cigarette exports hit record high in 2017

2018/01/13 15:44

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SEJONG, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's cigarette exports rose to a record high last year on the back of growing demand from Southeast Asian countries, the latest customs data showed Saturday.

The total value of tobacco exports reached a record US$1.13 billion in 2017, up 9.7 percent from the previous year's $1.01 billion, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service.

The figure has been on a steady rise, renewing records for four straight years since 2014. The tally surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2016.

The increase in outbound shipments to Southeast Asian countries was remarkable, with those exported to Vietnam jumping 50 percent to $87.7 million from $56.4 million in 2013, according to the data. Exports to Thailand also increased 120 times from $597,000 to $9.72 million during the cited period.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the biggest importer of South Korean cigarettes, with $376 million worth of products shipped to the Middle East country last year, according to the data.

The amount of outbound shipments to Japan came next with $236 million, followed by Vietnam and then the United States with $80 million, the data showed.

This photo, taken Jan. 4, 2018, shows cigarette packs at a convenience store in Seoul. (Yonhap) This photo, taken Jan. 4, 2018, shows cigarette packs at a convenience store in Seoul. (Yonhap)

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