The value of Korean cosmetics exports in March reached its highest level at US$277.5m since the Korean Customs Service began tracking export levels in January 2000.
By country, Korea sold US$119 million worth of cosmetics products to China, followed by Hong Kong (US$66 million), the US (US$20 million), Taiwan (US$12 million), Japan (US$15.6 million) and Thailand (US$8.4 million).
Imports of cosmetics products were US$158.9 million in March, resulting in a US$126.5 million trade surplus, also the largest amount in history.
The surplus has lasted for 11 months due to the increasing popularity of South Korean culture overseas, dubbed ‘Hallyu’ or the ‘Korean wave.’
As part of the trend, Korean cosmetics brands such as AmorePacific, Missha, KoKo and Innisfree have become increasingly popular among foreign consumers.