South Korea imported fewer agricultural products overall from China last year, but shipments in fruits, vegetables and meats increased, data from the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI) showed Monday.
According to KREI's analysis of figures from the Korea Trade Statistics Promotion Institute, South Korea imported US$3.62 million worth of agricultural, forestry and livestock products from China in the January-October period last year, 1.8 percent less than the average prior to the two countries' free trade agreement taking effect.
The FTA went into force on Dec. 20, 2015. The pre-FTA average measures imports from 2011 to 2015 after excluding the highest and lowest figures.
Imports of Chinese grain fell 29.1 percent compared with before the FTA implementation, with shipments shrinking for rice, sesame, peanuts and other related products. In case of rice, imports decreased 11 percent in volume.
Inbound shipments of forestry products also fell, down 6.2 percent to $1.39 million.
South Korea, however, purchased more fruits, vegetables, processed foods and meats, according to the data.
Imports grew 12.6 percent to $634 million for fruits and vegetables, while those for processed foods grew 21.9 percent to $963 million.
Imports of meat products rose 8 percent to $166 million, data showed. Specifically, imports of chicken in terms of volume increased to 34,000 tons compared with 25,000 tons in 2015.
China accounted for 13 percent of South Korea's total agricultural and livestock products last year, up 0.6 percentage point from the pre-FTA average.