South Korea's exports of food and agricultural products dropped significantly from a year earlier last month partly due to a large drop in shipments to China, the government said Thursday.
Shipments of farm products, including processed foodstuff, totaled US$540 million in February, down 14.5 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Exports of both fresh and processed foodstuff plunged 13.6 percent and 12.3 percent on-year, respectively, with those of fisheries products also dropping 19.5 percent from a year earlier.
"The drop in agriculture and food exports in February appears to have been caused by the worsening outside environment, such as the continued depreciation of the local currency of Japan, a major destination of our products, along with a delay in customs inspection in China due to the Lunar New Year's holiday (Feb. 9-15)," the ministry said in a press release.
China, the world's second-largest single importer of South Korean food products following Japan, imported $64 million worth of products from the country in February, down 36.7 percent from the same period last year.
Shipments to Japan also plunged 24 percent on-year to $146 million, according to the ministry.
Exports to the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations continued to rise, posting a 12.2 percent on-year growth to $100.5 million.