Exports of S. Korean cosmetics to China jumps 5-fold in 3 yrs
SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) -- Exports of South Korea-made cosmetics to China jumped by more than five-fold over the past three years, industry data showed Thursday, as the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, fueled robust demand.
Outbound shipments of makeup products shipped to China reached US$1.56 billion in 2016, compared to $300 million tallied in 2013, according to the data by the Korea Cosmetic Association.
The 2016 figure also marks a 33.1-percent increase from a year earlier, the latest tally showed.
China was the biggest buyer of South Korean beauty products in 2016, taking 37.3 percent of the total outbound shipments totaling $4.17 billion, it said.
Industry officials, however, expressed concerns that such heavy export dependence on China would undermine the overall cosmetics industry if Beijing continues to impose certain economic sanctions in opposition to South Korea's decision to station an advanced U.S. missile defense system on its soil.
Chinese authorities have in recent months banned imports of many South Korean cosmetic products while rejecting South Korean airlines' requests to fly chartered flights to China.
AmorePacific Co., the country's No. 1 cosmetics maker, and other companies dependent on the Chinese market said their stocks have been affected by heavy selling since late last year.
South Korean products accounted for 23.7 percent of the total Chinese beauty market as of June 2016, sharply up from 5.4 percent in 2010, the data showed.
The association attributed it to the huge popularity that facial masks by AmorePacific and other local small and midsized cosmetics firms have gained in recent years.
A pedestrian walks by a cosmetics store in Myeongdong in central Seoul, on March 6, 2017. (Yonhap)