South Korea’s export economy is the fifth largest and the sixth most complex economy in the world. The export from the country amounted to US$495 billion in 2016 up by 36% since the Great recession kicked in. South Korea’s exports increased at an annualized rate of 2.4% betweenac 2010 and 2015. However, the 2016 export value fell by 6% compared to the 2015 export value. Exports accounted for approximately 26% of the country’s total economic output. About 63% of South Korea’s export by value was delivered to the Asian countries while 16% were sold to North American countries. It shipped another 11% worth of goods to Europe. South Korea’s major exports include;
Top Exports Of South Korea
1. Refined Petroleum
Korea is a major exporter of refined petroleum although it is a non-oil producing country. It has a modern and efficient refining technology and reprocesses the crude oil it imports from oil-producing countries into several products including as gasoline, diesel, and kerosene and then exports them to the international market. The country exported US$54.3 billion worth of refined petroleum in 2016. The petroleum export by South Korea has been boosted by the competitiveness of the country’s refinery industry which is the world’s sixth largest. The contributions derived from the export of refined petroleum is even more impressive compared to the oil producing nations such as Indonesia and Vietnam that are forced to re-import refined petroleum at even a higher price.
2. Integrated Circuits
South Korea is the fourth largest export market for Integrated circuits and the second largest export for Integrated circuit manufacturing equipment. Korea is the leading semiconductor producer in the world despite it being a less important location for ICT/electronic equipment assembly. Korea’s semiconductor industry is very innovative and is currently the US largest competitor with a world market share of 17% as of 2015. The export of the Integrated circuits by South Korea amounted to $63.8 billion in 2015 making it the country’s top export during that year. Korea exports most of its Integrated circuit products to the US, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and other Asian countries.
South Korea’s automobile industry is the 5th largest in the world by both unit production and export volume. It is among the advanced automobile-producing countries in the world with the domestic output exceeding two million. South Korean Car export is driven by the strong demand for cheap cars in China and the US. Hyundai, the largest car maker in the country, sells over 40% of its locally manufactured vehicles worldwide. In 2016, South Korea exported $62.7 billion worth of cars accounting for 12.6% of the total export up from $42 billion in 2012. Car export was the fastest-growing of the top ten exports, up 71% for the period starting 2009 to 2016.
4. Passenger And Cargo Ships
South Korea is one of the leading shipbuilders in the world. It overtook China as the world’s leading shipbuilder and exporter in 2014 with its shipbuilding the industry growing despite the challenges of global shipping capacities, low freight rates, and increasing competition from low-cost Chinese shipbuilders. In 2016, South Korea exported $33.2 billion worth of passenger and cargo ships to the international market accounting for 6.7% of the country’s total export. The 2016 passenger and cargo ships export value grew by 39% from $21 billion worth of export in 2015.