Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saké Sunday: Korean Market for Saké

The JoongAng Daily reports that Korea is suddenly becoming a significant market for Japanese Saké. In the last six months, Saké imports have risen 46.1% from the same period a year ago. Within these last six months, Korea imported 752 tons of Saké, valued at about $2.59M. It should be noted that the value of the imports has risen 73.8%, which seems to imply that more expensive Sakés are now being imported into Korea. One reason appears to be the increased popularity of Japanese restaurants in Korea.

It may be too early to know whether this is a temporary fad or whether Saké will become a more permanent fixture in Korea. As I have discussed before, the number of Saké breweries in Japan has been declining. Many breweries are looking to outside markets to sell their Saké and the U.S. has become a significant importer. It would benefit Japan if other countries, like Korea, also become significant importers. Japan should engage in a larger marketing campaign to find new markets, to show the rest of the world the wonders of Saké.

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