The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister Chung Hwang-keun, MAFRA) announced that as of June this year, the export value of kimchi has achieved $81 million, marking a 4.8% increase compared to the previous year ($77 million in June 2022) and a 20.3% increase compared to the average year ($67 million).
Driven by increased demand in the U.S. and European markets, the first half of this year recorded a trade surplus of $17 million. *Trade Surplus (first half / million USD): (2018) -16.9, (2019) -8.3, (2020) 0.3, (2021) 18.3, (2022) -7.5, (2023) 1.7 Furthermore, export volume also increased by 3.0% compared to last year (22,000 tons → 23,000 tons), and by 20.0% compared to the average year. MAFRA has recently set a target of $300 million in kimchi exports by 2027 in its '3rd Comprehensive Plan for Kimchi Industry Promotion (2023-2027)' and is actively focusing on four strategies and nine tasks to secure the unmatched quality competitiveness of Korean kimchi. Key tasks include the development of excellent kimchi starters (27 starters in 2022 → 60 starters in 2027), expanded distribution of starters (small and medium-sized export companies' distribution rate of starters, 2022: 18.4% → 2027: 90%), diversification of localized products such as functional labeled products, vegan, and low-sodium kimchi, and long-term storage technology development for delayed fermentation of exported kimchi. Additionally, by expanding Kimchi Day designation in overseas countries (2022: 8 regions → 2027: 15 regions) and through the continuous operation of the "Kimchi Industry Consultative Body (involving 11 institutions including aT, World Kimchi Research Institute, Kimchi Association)" for responding to kimchi-related issues, the Ministry intends to actively support the promotion of kimchi exports.