Korea’s ginseng exports to China exceeded Hong Kong’s in the first quarter of this year. The Korean government is planning to increase ginseng exports 8.7 percent from a year earlier this year to break the US$200 million mark.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced on May 6 that quarterly ginseng exports decreased 5 percent year on year to US$40 million. It added that the exports from Hong Kong dropped 38.4 percent from US$13.74 million to US$9.93 million during the same period, while those from Japan and Taiwan declined from US$8.19 million to US$6.35 million and from US$5.75 million to US$5.17 million, respectively.
However, the shipments from Korea to China increased from US$7.44 million to US$10.16 million during the period and that to Southeast Asia went up from US$2.78 million to US$3.29 million as well.
Still, situations are becoming increasingly unfavorable, because China is looking to restrict the import of Korean ginseng by means of its mass standard and encourage the consumption of domestically-cultivated ginseng. Besides, the weak yen is affecting Korean ginseng sales, and rumors are circulating in China that Korean ginseng results in more body heat.
“We are going to help find new markets by increasing the number of Korean ginseng shops to seven in three countries in the Middle East, Europe, and the like this year,” the Ministry explained, adding, “Also, we will work closely with the authorities concerned in order to deal with the non-tariff barriers of China.”