Seoul's exports to U.S. jump 26 percent
Korea's exports to the United States surged 26.94 percent during the first 10 months of this year, propelled by shipments of automobiles and wireless communication gear, a local trade agency said yesterday.
Citing U.S. figures, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said that exports to the world's largest economy reached $38 billion during the January-October period to account for more than 3 percent of U.S. imports.
Consequently, Korea was the sixth-largest exporter to the United States following Canada, China, Mexico, Japan and Germany.
Cars were the top export item. Shipments surged 30.57 percent year-on-year at $8 billion, or 21.16 percent of exports to the United States.
Wireless communication gear followed at $7 billion, increasing at a near 50 percent clip compared to the same period last year to account for 18.3 percent of exports.
"Exports (to the United States) rose by the largest measure since 2002, mostly backed by a growth momentum seen there this year that served to boost imports," said KOTRA's Park Geun-hyung.
The heightened quality of local goods also attracted more consumers from abroad, he added.
Traditionally, the U.S. had been Korea's largest export destination. But the volume has recently been waning, edging up only 1.11 percent year-on-year in 2002 and 3.9 percent last year.
The trade body also took issue with the heavy dependence on goods such as cars, wireless communication equipment and electronic parts, urging product development in light manufacturing and service industries.
A report from the Korea International Trade Association raised doubts about whether the upward exports trend will continue into next year.
Based on data from global institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the association predicted that the trade and budget deficits of the U.S. and high-flying crude oil prices would take their toll to pull down global economic growth, including the United States.
It estimated that growth there will slow to 3.1 percent in 2005.
Japan is expected to expand by 1.6 percent, while China grows 8.5 percent.