South Korea’s cigarette exports topped $1.1 billion last year, renewing record high for the fourth year in a row.
According to the Korea Customs Service, the country’s cigarette exports amounted $1.1 billion last year, up 9.7 percent from the previous year. The figure more than doubled $534.9 million in 2013.
Demand from Southeast Asian countries has been staggering. Cigarette shipments to Vietnam soared more than 50 percent to $87.7 million last year from $56.4 million in 2013, making it Korea’s third largest cigarette market. Shipments to Thailand grew exponentially to 71.1 million from $597,000 over the cited period, while exports to Indonesia surged to $9.7 million from 1.6 million four years ago.
The United Arab Emirates stood as the biggest market for Korean brands with $375.5 million. Japan came second with $235.9 million, followed by Vietnam, the United States, and Thailand. Cigarette shipments to the U.S. amounted $80.8 million last year.
By Chun Jung-hong and Cho Jeehyun
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