Imports of whiskey and other foreign liquors to South Korea have dropped for the first time since 1997.

The Korea Customs Service reported yesterday (22 November) that the country's import of foreign liquor products during the first 10 months of this year fell by 17% to US$194.88m. It is the first drop since the outbreak of Korea's foreign exchange crisis seven years ago.

Imports of whisky from January to October dropped by as much as 15.6% to US$175.73m compared to US$208.19m in the corresponding period last year.

The fall has been blamed on weakening consumer confidence.