June 29, 2022

South Korea recorded the highest outbound shipments of $604.9 billion as of 11:36 p.m. Monday, setting a new all-time high in the 66 years since the government started compiling the data in 1956.

According to data compiled by the Trade Ministry and Korea Customs Service, total exports rose despite economic woes slowing from the COVID-19 pandemic and also projects to surpass $640 billion on current trends.

A Trade Ministry official suggested the successful exports of new items and heightened value of outbound shipment items as driving forces behind this year’s robust growth.

Summary of accumulated data by the Trade Ministry –

• From January to September, the memory chips produced by the country accounted for 58.9 percent of the global smartphone memory market.
• In the first nine months of the year, auto exports came to $32.7 billion, allowing the country to maintain its place as the world’s fifth-largest auto exporter.
• As of September, the country’s shipbuilding accounted for 20.3 percent of the global market on a cumulative basis.
• From Jan. 1 through Monday, compared with more traditional export items, new items including rechargeable batteries, bio-health, cosmetics and packaged agricultural products gained a combined $12.3 billion in exports, compared to 2018’s annual figure.

According to the World Trade Organization, the country this year ranked as the No. 7 global exporter and No. 8 in global trade.

According to the government data, the country’s annual exports had first hit $100 million in 1964 and proceeded to surpass $10 billion in 1977 and $100 billion in 1995.
As the global economy recovers from the pandemic, the government is expecting a healthier outlook for exports next year. However, it expects the spread of COVID-19 variants, supply chain bottlenecks and China’s slowed economic growth to pose as major hurdles.

The Bank of Korea has recently projected the nation’s exports in 2022 to grow by 1.1 percent, with the state-run Korea Development Institute forecasting 4.7 percent.

Industry and Trade Minister Moon Sung-wook commented they will strengthen outbound shipments of small and medium-sized businesses and build further grounds for future exports to allow the strong momentum to continue into next year.