Report Highlights: Imports of American food and agricultural products into Korea in 2016 through September totaled $5.1 billion, down 11 percent from the previous year mainly due to reduced demand for basic commodities and intermediate products in the local processed food and feed industry under an extended slowdown of the Korean economy. A strong U.S. dollar and increased competition from export-oriented competitors have also eroded market share of American products in Korea. However, despite the challenging market environment, imports of consumer-oriented American products are forecast to remain strong, which reflects Korean consumers’ increased demand for better value, quality and diversity. As a result, the United States should remain the leading agricultural exporter to Korea with over 21 percent market share and Korea should remain the fifth largest export market in the world for American agriculture in 2016. The Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement, implemented in March 2012, coupled with the anticipated recovery of the Korean economy, is expected to generate greater opportunities for American products in Korea in the coming year.
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