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Medicine exports increase thanks to brisk shipments to US
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2018.12.24 15:27
  • Updated 2018.12.24 22:12
  • comments 0

Korea’s cumulative export of medicine and medical suppliers (HS code: 3003, 3004) in the 11 months of this year jumped 30.9 percent to $2.21 billion from $1.69 billion a year earlier, according to the Korea Customs Service data.

Export in November, however, stood at $253.8 million, down 2.5 percent from $ 264.5 million during the same month of last year.

Despite the monthly decline, shipments to the U.S. in November soared 159.2 percent to $53.22 million compared to $20.5 million a year ago. Cumulative exports to the U.S. until November were $296.47 million, up 12.7 percent from $263.1 million last year.

Exports to China totaled $ 96.08 million in the January-November period, up 19.8 percent from $ 80.2 million a year earlier. November shipment to China reached $ 10.8 million, up 10.8 percent from $9.75 million.

“Although the share of medicine to the U.S. is not large yet, it is positive that the Korean drugs’ shares in major markets are rising,” an industry executive said. “In the future, we expect the medicine export, led by biosimilars, will increase in major markets such as the U.S. and Europe.”

The export of pharmaceutical products (HS code, 30), including medicines, totaled $345.72 million last month, a 1.3 percent decrease from the $352.31 million a year ago.

However, cumulative shipment in the first 11 months totaled $3.14 billion, up 23 percent from $2.55 billion a year earlier. The nation marked a deficit of $2.89 billion in the pharmaceutical product trade in the January-November period.


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