South Korea’s direct purchases from foreign countries continued to increase at a sharp pace in the first half of this year on rising consumer demand for cheaper and quality products, customs data showed.
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A total of US$1.32 billion worth of foreign goods was directly bought by South Korean shoppers via overseas Internet shopping malls in the January-June period, up 35 percent from US$974.1 million tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korean Customs Service (KTS).
The number of overseas direct purchases jumped 36 percent on-year to a record 14.94 million cases over the same period, the data showed.
The value and the number of direct purchases have been on a steep rise in recent years, with the half-yearly amount nearly doubling from two years ago.
The customs office said booming demand for cheaper Chinese electronic goods, U.S.-made dietary supplements and Japanese toys led the sharp increase, with foreign foodstuffs, clothes and cosmetics still popular among South Korean shoppers.
Purchases of dietary supplements jumped 34 percent on-year to 3.09 million cases in January through June, while 1.92 million purchases of garments and 1.68 million picks of electronic goods were reported, up 60 percent and 91 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.
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By country, the United States was the biggest seller with US$730.1 million in the six-month period, surging 55 percent from a year earlier, while some US$204.8 million worth of Chinese goods were shipped, up 16 percent from a year earlier. Purchases from Europe and Japan rose 19 percent and 6 percent to US$253.3 million and US$85.2 million, respectively.
(Source: Yonhap News)