South Korea: Japanese breweries reduce beer price to regain market

After Japanese beer exports collapsed amid the ‘No Japan’ boycott campaign in South Korea, Japanese breweries are striving to regain a foothold through price cuts.

Asahi, whose beers are the most imported of its category in South Korea, is now running promotions at liquor shops and convenience stores like Lotte Mart, 7-Eleven, GS25 and CU at reduced prices.

The 500-milliliter can which is normally being sold at a price of more than 3,000 won (USD 2.71) is now being sold at a price of 2,500 won (USD 2.25), a reduction of 17 percent. Other imported beer brands belonging to the Asahi group like Pilsner Urquell and Kozel from the Czech Republic are also reduced in price.

Asahi’s Chief Financial Officer Atsushi Katsuki admitted in August the impact of the boycott. “We cannot deny there’s been a slight impact,” he said. As a consequence Asahi lowered the forecast for its full-year operating profit to JPY 215.5 billion (USD 1.97 billion) from a previous guidance of JPY 217 billion.

Japanese beer exports to its largest export market South Korea have started to plunge last year, when South Korea called to boycott Japanese goods after Tokyo refused further indemnification payments for forced labor during Japan’s occupation of South Korea between 1910 and 1945. The relationship between the two neighboring countries has long been strained because of Japan's brutal colonization of the peninsula in the first half of the 20th century (, 28.11.2019).

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