South Korea’s exports to China 2013

South Korea’s exports to China and other emerging economies have spiked over the past decade on the back of their robust economic growth, government data showed Monday.

Seoul’s overseas shipments to emerging countries stood at US$ 386.4 billion last year, or 72.8 percent of its total exports, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. In 2002, exports to such nations came to $ 86.5 billion, accounting for 53.2 percent of the total. Accordingly, the weight of Korea’s outbound shipments to advanced economies declined to 27.2 percent last year from 46.8 percent 10 years earlier.

The changing trend came as emerging countries have posted relatively fast economic growth while advanced economies have been mired in the severe economic downturn, driven by the 2008 global financial crisis and the eurozone debt crisis.

Exports account for about 50 percent of Korea’s economy, indicating that Asia’s fourth-largest economy is highly susceptible to changes in the global economic environments.

Korea’s exports to China, its No. 1 trading partner, were valued at $ 130.2 billion in 2012, accounting for 24.5 percent out of its total overseas shipments, according to the data. This compared with .8 billion with 14.6 percent tallied for 2002, it added.

Meanwhile, exports by Asia’s fourth-largest economy to the U.S. reached $ 56.7 billion last year with their portion making up 10.7 percent out of its total export volume. The 2012 figures were a sharp decline from 20.2 percent recorded for 2002, the data showed.

The weight of Korea’s outbound shipments to the European Union declined to a single digit for the first time in 2012, according to the ministry. Korea saw such a portion hit 9 percent last year after reaching 11.5 percent in 2010 and 10 percent in 2011.

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