Japan's exports to S. Korea plunge in October amid boycotting campaign, beer shipments drop to zero

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The trade row has seen both sides tighten export controls and remove each other from their preferential lists of trading partners as bilateral ties have sunk to their lowest level in years.

As a result, exports of equipment used in the manufacturing of semiconductors dropped 49 percent in October, the ministry said.

TOKYO, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Japan's exports to South Korea tumbled in October, as a bilateral wartime labor dispute spilling over into a trade spat has seen Japanese products boycotted amid strained ties between both sides, the government said in a report Thursday.

In 2018, beer shipments to South Korea comprised around 300 percent of Japan's total overseas shipments, but a campaign to boycott Japanese goods by South Koreans amid strained bilateral ties has seen demand among consumers plummet for products ranging from beer and sake, to clothes and vehicles.

Exports of food products dropped 58.1 percent in the recording period, the ministry said, with beer products notably dropping to zero for the first time since June 1999, with the latest figure coming on the heels of a 99.9 percent tumble in September and a 92.2 percent plunge in August on a year-on-year basis.

The boycotting campaign largely responsible for the slumping exports, follows a wartime labor dispute between Tokyo and Seoul spilling over into a bitter tit-for-tat trade spat.

According to the Finance Ministry, total exports to South Korea in the reporting month dropped 23.1 percent compared to the same month a year earlier, with exports of food products and semiconductor-related equipment marking particularly sharp declines.

In the recording period, shipments of sake plunged more than 90 percent and those of instant noodles stood at zero, the ministry's figures showed.

Japan, for its part, has imposed stricter export control measures on materials key to South Korean chip-makers, with the measures coming into effect in July.