Output of makgeolli is picking up in Korea as more people are opting to drink the traditional rice wine following a report that it contains anti-cancer compounds, government data showed Monday.
Production of makgeolli rose 12.8 percent on-year to 35,114 kiloliters in April, with the number jumping 16.8 percent to 39,543 kiloliters in May, according to the data by Statistics Korea.
Domestic shipments also rose 9.1 percent from a year earlier to 32,544 kiloliters in April and 14.2 percent to 37,981 kiloliters in May.
The increases mark a turnaround from numbers in February and March, when output and domestic shipments both fell on-year, the first declines since the 2009 surge in the popularity of the rice wine.
The rebound in makgeolli output and domestic shipments was largely attributed to the April 14 report by the Korea Food Research Institute that makgeolli has up to 25 times more farnesol than beer or grape wine.
Farnesol is an organic compound generally used to make perfumes and proven to have anti-tumor and chemopreventive elements.
Output and shipments of makgeolli, which has an alcohol content of 6-7 percent, lost ground early this year due to weak demand from drinkers and excessive competition among manufacturers.