Consumers drank more whisky in South Korea at home amid the coronavirus pandemic triggering imports of the beverage by more than 70%.
South Korea’s whisky imports soared more than 70% in the first 10 months of the year as people drank more at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Monday. The Korea Herald and Yonhap report.
The value of whiskey imports into South Korea rose to $93.21 million during the January-October period, increasing 73.1% from a year earlier, Korea Customs Service and the local liquor industry reported.
Definitely a milestone for the Korean liquor industry, as this figure represents the first year-on-year increase in the country’s whiskey imports since 2014.
As a cause, industry sources point to the growing interest by people confined during the Covid-19 pandemic to consume at home. Notably, such a resurgence in South Korea’s whiskey imports has not been noted since 2007, when they peaked at $264.6 million.
The slowdown followed the implementation of the country’s draconian anti-corruption law in 2016 and the 52-hour work week in 2018. In addition, strong social distancing measures contributed to that slowdown when many bars in Seoul had to close.
Increased whisky imports into South Korea helped local subsidiaries of foreign whisky makers to perform better this year.
Pernod Ricard Korea also saw its revenue soar 31.6 percent year-on-year to 120.5 billion won ($101 million) in fiscal 2020 (July 2020-June 2021), and its operating profit soared 66.9 percent to 26.9 billion won.
Sales of Diageo Korea Co, the South Korean unit of British spirits company Diageo Plc, fell 3.6 percent to 193.3 billion in the same fiscal year, but its operating profit soared 85 percent to 37 billion won.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.