Hanoi (VNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become the second largest export market for agricultural and livestock products from the Republic of Korea (RoK) last year as the country's trade with China was hit by a diplomatic row, according to a report by the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI).

The RoK exported about 1.22 billion USD worth of agricultural and livestock products to 10 ASEAN member states in 2017, up 9.9 percent from the previous year, the Yonhap News Agency cited KREI’s statistics as reporting on March 7.

Strawberries, wheat, grapes, fresh ginseng and chicken were the main export items to the ASEAN nations.

It was the first time that ASEAN ranked above China in terms of agro-livestock shipments, as Chinese authorities implemented strengthened quarantine measures and regulations on Korean products amid strained diplomatic ties over Seoul's deployment of an American missile defense system, called THAAD, last year.

Japan was the RoK’s biggest agro-livestock export market with 1.36 billion USD worth of shipments, while China came third at 1.1 billion USD, the institute said.

The total exports of the RoK’s agricultural and livestock products gained 7.1 percent year-on-year to 7.15 million USD last year, it noted.-VNA