China surpasses US to become top export market for Korea

Containers are being unloaded at Busan Port, June 21, 2023. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Saturday that total exports in May totaled $58.15 billion, up 11.7 percent from the same period in 2023, with China again becoming Korea's largest export destination, surpassing the United States. Yonhap

China has surpassed the United States to become Korea’s largest export destination, thanks to increased exports of IT products such as semiconductors and displays, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Saturday.

The trade ministry said that exports to China and the U.S. – two major export markets for Korea — have increased. Exports to China rose by 7.6 percent to $11.38 billion, marking the highest figure in 19 months since October 2022 when it recorded $12.2 billion, and exports to the U.S. also increased by 15.6 percent year-on-year to $10.93 billion, the highest for May.

With the global supply chain undergoing reorganization, Korea has seen a strong increase in exports to the U.S. In December last year, exports to the U.S. reached $11.29 billion, surpassing exports to China, which were $10.87 billion, making it the largest export market for the first time in over 20 years since June 2003.

However, in January of this year, exports to China again took the lead, recording $10.69 billion compared to $10.22 billion to the U.S. Then, exports to the U.S. in February, March and April were higher than those to China.

The reason China has become the country’s largest export destination again is due to the increase in exports of intermediate goods such as semiconductors to China, which serves as the world’s factory amid a favorable global IT market.

The trade ministry highlighted that exports, led by IT products such as semiconductors, have been driving the increase, while traditional export items such as cars, shipbuilding and petrochemicals have shown steady growth. Total exports in May 카지노사이트 amounted to $58.15 billion, up 11.7 percent from the same period in 2023.

Exports of semiconductors, the largest export item of Korea, increased by 54.5 percent year-on-year to $11.38 billion, recording a positive growth for seven straight months. This is attributed to the continued uptrend in semiconductor exports, including memory and non-memory chips, due to increased chip demands such as high bandwidth memory (HBM) chips for AI services.

“Exports in May amounted to $58.1 billion, continuing a double-digit growth for two consecutive months and recording a positive growth for eight consecutive months,” Ahn Duk-geun, minister of trade, industry, and energy, said.

The minister added that the government will focus all its available capabilities to continue the upward trend in exports until the end of the year.

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