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South Korea’s Chocolate Prices Grew For 9th Straight Year In 2016

By February 14, 2017 at 6:53 am
In 2015, South Koreans consumed an average of 607 grams of chocolate bars and cookies. (Photo : Getty Images)

Chocolate prices in South Korea rose annually for the ninth consecutive year last year, according to data from Statistics Korea released Tuesday, helped by the growth of pricey imported brands in the country.

Prior to that nine-year run, chocolate prices in South Korea actually fell for seven straight years from 2000 to 2006, according to the country's statistics agency. 

In a separate report Monday, South Korea's chocolate market grew almost 10 percent in 2015 from the previous year, as imports significantly expanded.

Total shipments of chocolates stood at 1.16 trillion won in 2015, which rose 9.6 percent from 1.06 trillion won in the previous year, according to the annual report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs that compiled data from local processed food markets.

The upward trend in prices began in 2007 when chocolate prices jumped 5.5 percent on-year and followed by a 23.4 percent on-year increase in 2008. 

The 0.1 percent on-year gain last year compared with 4.6 percent and 16.7 percent in 2015 and 2014, respectively. The steady growth in expensive chocolate imports was seen as a key factor for the increase, industry watchers said.

South Korea accounted for 1.2 percent of the global chocolate market in 2015, which was worth US$86.4 billion. The United States holds the biggest share with 23.3 percent.

In 2015, the average consumption of chocolate bars and cookies in South Korea is 607 grams per person, compared to 9 kilograms in Switzerland.

Total amount of chocolate product imports has grown almost 30 percent in the last four years, according to Korea Customs Service data.

South Korea's chocolate imports reached an all-time high $220 million last year, compared to $170 million recorded in 2012, the data showed.

The country's chocolate exports reached $22.68 million in 2015, an increase of 43 percent from $15.83 million in 2011. Mongolia and countries from Southeast Asia are the fastest growing markets for South Korean chocolate, data from the ministry showed. 

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