Korea's Exports to China in the First Half of 2018
Korea's exports to China surged in the first six months of 2018 amid escalating trade tensions between the United States and China. The first half of this year saw a 21.1 percent jump in Korean exports to China compared to the same period of last year.
The portion of exports to China soared to a record high of 26.7 percent out of the nation's total exports, which is above the combined share of exports to the U.S., Japan and the EU (26.3 percent). When Hong Kong is included, Greater China accounts for as much as 34 percent of the total. In the second quarter of the year, exports to China shot up by 27.7 percent year on year, recording double digit growth for the four consecutive quarters.
A low base effect was one of the reasons Korea's exports to China picked up in the January - June period of 2018 following slips for two years since 2015. Another driver was strong export performance in the semiconductor and petrochemical sectors. The recent growth was led by rapid increases in outbound shipments of semiconductors and petrochemicals to China. Exports of semiconductors soared by 57.7 percent year on year due to growing demand, while there was a 23.7 percent rise in exports of petrochemicals, supported by rising oil prices. These two sectors collectively take up 47.3 percent of the nation's total exports to China compared to 42.1 percent a year earlier.
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