Malaysian Palm Oil Export (Jan-Feb 2020) Grow in South Korea despite Of COVID-19 Scare

COVID-19 pandemic has made a big impact on the world economies. World leading economic powerhouse such as South Korea is also not spared from it claws. South Korea is the top 10 countries most affected by COVID-19. According to USDA Market Specialist, Sang Yong Oh, the COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on the Korean food retail market. Lesser people are going out to purchase food at the local outlet which has recorded a decline of 13 -16% (Lotte Outlet).

Source: Statista

This declining trend may continue if the outbreak is not controlled in the coming months. The statistics also indicate that Korean people are moving towards buying their food via online services. If the trend continues, it may substitute some of the losses being occurred from the lack of traditional physical purchases by customers.

Source: Statista

Even though, COVID-19 is resulting in decline of sales in the Korean food retail market, however, its impact on palm oil usage in the sector may not be that significant. In Korea, palm oil is largely being used in the commercial sector instead of consumer sector. Even there is a change in the buying pattern of the Korean consumer, the usage of palm oil will remain the same or there might be a possibility of a slight increase, if there is a significant growth in on-line purchases of packed and processed foods such as instant noodles and canned foods. Currently, the statistic shows a significant increase in on-line purchase which is at 98%. If the trends continue, palm oil may have the opportunity to increase in Korean food market. MPOB statistics shows there is a slight increase in export figure for the month of February this year (68,357 MT) compared to the same period last year (64,099 MT).

Source : MPOB

Article’s Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Prepared by: Muhammad Kharibi & Rina Mariati

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