South Korea recorded best-ever exports of $573.9 billion last year, up 15.8 percent from the previous year, preliminary government data showed.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Sunday, the nation’s export rose 15.8 percent on year to $573.9 billion in 2017. It is the highest record since the government began compiling such data in 1956.
Imports expanded 17.7 percent on year to $478.1 billion to deliver a trade surplus of $95.8 billion for full 2017. External trade value reached $1.05 trillion, a figure above $1 trillion for the first time in three years.
Daily shipments averaged $2.13 billion, also a record high.
Nine out of 13 mainstay export items gained with six categories recording double-digit growth. Exports of semiconductors jumped 57.4 percent, petroleum products 31.7 percent, petrochemical products 23.5 percent, vessels 23.6 percent, steel 20.0 percent, and machineries 10.2 percent.
For the first time ever for a single item, outbound shipments in semiconductors reached $97.94 billion.
By region, Korea’s exports to Vietnam surged 46.3 percent, Russia and its neighboring countries 33.8 percent, India 30.0 percent, and Southeast Asian countries 27.8 percent. Shipments to the European Union nations rose 16.0 percent, China 14.2 percent, Central and South American countries 10.5 percent, and Japan 10.1 percent
By Ko Jae-man and Cho Jeehyun
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