Wine imports surge 23.5 percent this year

SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's wine imports marked a sharp increase this year, with their average price falling slightly, government data said Sunday.

The Korea Customs Service said the nation's wine imports reached 22,387 kiloliters in the first eight months of this year, up 23.5 percent from 18,122 kiloliters in the same period of last year.

The average price of imported wine dropped 3.6 percent to 4,256 won (US$3.92) per bottle from 4,415 won, the agency noted.

By product, imports of sparkling wine soared 32.4 percent this year, with its average price falling 9.8 percent, it said.

Imports of red and white wines also increased 25.7 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively, while their import prices each declined 4.3 percent and 1.7 percent, it said.

By contrast, the nation's whiskey imports dived 15.3 percent to 11,130 kiloliters in the January-August period, it added.

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