Exports of instant noodles including ramyeon last year broke the USD 800 million mark in reaching another all-time high.
The Korea Customs Service (KCS) on March 30 in a report on such exports said overseas shipments of ramyeon, fresh noodles, udon and japchae (glass noodles and vegetables) last year hit USD 862 million, up 12% from USD 770 million in 2021.
Instant noodle have smashed export records every year since 2014.
From January to February this year, they grew 19% to USD 147 million, a record high for the period.
In weight, such exports last year set another record of 260,000 tons, up 10.3% from 2021 and second worldwide only to China’s 460,000.
The weight of the exports jumped four times over the last 10 years.
The KCS said demand for simple processed foods surged as people spent more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, with ramyeon emerging as a leading Korean food through its appearances in Korean movies and broadcasts.
By noodle type, ramyeon saw exports of USD 765 million, a 13.5% increase and set another mark of USD 132 million this year for the January-February period.
By country, China was the biggest market (USD 191 million), followed by the U.S. (USD 120 million) and Japan (USD 68 million).
The number of markets for the instant noodle exports has risen every year and hit an all-time high of 143 last year.
From 2020, Korea began shipping instant noodles to the new markets of Guyana, Gambia, Cyprus, Serbia, Iceland and Cape Verde.
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