Instant noodles rank first in food production in 2020 amid pandemic

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(Yonhap)

Instant noodles captured the top production spot among food products in South Korea in 2020 thanks to a surge in exports amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed on Tuesday.

Production of instant noodles, or “ramyeon” in Korean, amounted to 1.93 million tons in 2020, up 231% from a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Food Security and pharmaceutical.

Ramyeon’s ranking in terms of production rose 12 notches from the previous year.

Strong exports have been cited as the main reason for the surge in instant noodle production.

Overseas shipments of instant noodles rose nearly 50% year-on-year to $687.1 million in 2020, while domestic sales fell about 20% to 1.56 trillion won ( $1.31 billion).

Instant noodles thus ranked first in terms of export value among local food products, up from second place a year earlier.

Industry watchers said South Korean instant noodles have become more popular overseas as the COVID-19 outbreak has forced more people to stay home.

Heavy overseas shipments of “chapaguri,” an iconic noodle dish from the Oscar-winning movie “Parasite,” were also responsible, the sources say.

Soft drinks rank second in terms of production with 1.87 million tons in 2020, according to the data, followed by flour with 1.82 million tons, beer with 1.5 million tons and sugar with 1.43 million tons. (Yonhap)

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