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South Korean Coffee Imports from U.S. Roasters Increase in 2013/14

seoul korea coffee

A cafe in Seoul. Photo by Chelsea Marie Hicks.

South Koreans are importing more roasted coffee from the United States, reflecting the popularity of U.S. brands, as well as relaxed trade taxes.

The amount of roasted coffee imported by South Korea from the United States saw a double-digit annual increase in 2013, according to data released July 4 by the Korea Customs Service and obtained by multiple Korean news outlets. U.S. roasters supplied the country with 3,066 tons of roasted coffee in 2013, a 16.5 percent increase from 2012, and a 97 percent increase from 2011.

(related: Colombian Coffee Leaders Plan Massive Retail Investment in South Korea)

Much of the increase can be attributed the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement, signed in March of 2012, which reduced tariffs on roasted beans from the United States from 8 percent to their current level of 3.2 percent.

The United States continues to be the top supplier of roasted coffee to Korea, and in 2013 increased its percentage share over the second and third largest suppliers, Italy and Japan. In total, the United States accounted for nearly half of the 6,127 tons of roasted coffee imported by Korea — and both numbers are growing.

(related: South Korea’s Cafe Dreamy May Be the Strangest and Coolest Cafe in the World)

Korea’s total imports of roasted beans grew 13.8 percent last year and have increased by 10.8 percent in the first five months of this year. The percentage of imports of roasted beans has steadily increased to 5.1 percent of the total coffee imports in Korea, nearing instant coffee imports, which fell this year to 5.8 percent. Green coffee represents the other 89.1 percent.

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2 Comments

ROBERTO DEVIENNE

WHY KOREANS ARE IMPORTING ROASTED COFFEE FROM USA AS NO COFFEE FARMS IN USA, THEY SHOULD IMPORT DIRECTLY FROM PRODUCING COUNTRIES LIKE BRAZIL AND OTHERS FROM LATIN AMERICA, ETC.
THEY CAN FIND NICE COFFEE FROM BRAZIL AS EXAMPLES AND UNDER THE REQUIREMENTS THEY NEED REGARDING SOURCE, CERTIFICATION…..
WHY NO TRY.

Rene

We want to export single origin roasted coffee from El salvador, it is Rainforest Alliance certified, id you can give us a hand, we would highly appreciate it, feel free to contact me at rene@upcoffee.com, kind regards

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