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S. Korea's annual exports grow to new high in 2014
Date
2015.01.02
Views
1052

According to Yonhap News,

(SEJONG=Yonhap News) South Korea's exports rose to a record high last year with the country's overall trade volume also climbing to a new all-time high, the government said Thursday.

South Korea's overall exports came to US$573.1 billion in 2014, up 2.4 percent from the previous year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Imports gained 2 percent on-year to about $525.7 billion. The country's trade surplus also rose to a new high of $47.4 billion.

It marked the fourth consecutive year the country's overall trade volume has reached over $1 trillion.

"Our trade continued to grow despite slow economic growth in China and a sluggish recovery in Europe," the ministry said in a press release.

"The country again achieved a triple crown with its trade breaching the $1 trillion mark for the fourth consecutive year since 2011 and both its exports and trade surplus reaching record highs," it added.

The increase in exports was partly attributed to the country's free trade agreements (FTAs).

Outbound shipments to the United States surged 13.4 percent on-year in 2014, posting a positive on-year growth for the second consecutive year since the country's bilateral FTA with the U.S. went into effect in March 2012. In 2013, South Korean exports to the U.S. gained 6 percent on-year.

Shipments to the European Union rose 5.9 percent on-year and exports to the 10 member countries of the Southeast Asian Nations grew 3.5 percent.

Exports to China, the world's single largest importer of South Korean products, slipped 0.9 percent on-year in 2014.

By product, shipments of semiconductors rose 9.7 percent on-year to $62.68 billion, accounting for 10.9 percent of the country's overall exports in 2014.

Shipments of petroleum products, on the other hand, shrank 3 percent on-year to some $51.2 billion, apparently due to the recent plunge in global oil prices.

The average price of Dubai crude, which accounts for 86 percent of South Korea's total oil imports, was nearly halved from $104 per barrel in January 2014 to $53.62 on Wednesday.

In December, South Korea's outbound shipments rose 3.7 percent on-year to $49.74 billion with exports to the U.S. spiking 21.5 percent.

Imports slipped 0.9 percent on-year to $43.96 billion. The country's trade surplus came to $5.78 billion, compared with a surplus of $3.63 billion in December 2013.

December marked the 35th consecutive month the country has posted a trade surplus.

In 2015, the ministry said the country's free trade deals will likely play a greater role, especially once the country's bilateral FTA with China is implemented.

So far, the country has enacted 10 FTAs with 48 countries that currently account for 38.8 percent of South Korea's overall trade volume.

The ratio will be expanded to 60 percent once the country's newly concluded FTA with China goes into effect, along with four other FTAs that are expected to be implemented this year, according to the ministry.

"(The FTAs) will help boost the country's overall trade with the rise in both exports and imports to and from countries that have an FTA with South Korea expected to outpace the growth in the country's overall exports and imports," it said.

The ministry said South Korea's exports under its FTAs will likely grow 7 percent on-year while the country's overall exports are expected to rise 3.7 percent to $594 billion this year.

The country's annual imports are expected to gain 3.2 percent on-year to $542 billion with its trade surplus expected to reach $52 billion.

bdk@yna.co.kr

Copyrights Yonhap News. All Rights Reserved.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (January. 01, 2015)

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