SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) — South Korea’s export kept a record-breaking trend for two months in December owing to the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a government report showed Saturday.
Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, jumped 18.3 percent from a year earlier to hit a new high of 60.74 billion U.S. dollars in December, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
It surpassed the previous high of 60.41 billion dollars in November, continuing to grow for 14 straight months since November 2020.
Import surged 37.4 percent to 61.32 billion dollars in December, sending the trade deficit to 0.58 billion dollars.
The import maintained double-digit growth for 11 months amid strong demand for commodities and intermediary goods, driven by domestic demand recovery and brisk export.
Among 15 major export items, the shipment of 10 products expanded in double figures last month.
Semiconductor export advanced 35.1 percent over the year to 12.78 billion dollars in December, keeping an upward trend for 18 months in a row.
Petrochemical shipment soared 34.3 percent to 4.77 billion dollars, and general machinery shipment rose 6.2 percent to 5.03 billion dollars.
Automotive export grew 17.3 percent to 4.23 billion dollars, and shipment for steel products, computers, textiles and home appliances increased in double digits last month.
Export to China, South Korea’s biggest trading partner, spiked 20.8 percent over the year to 15.35 billion dollars in December, continuing to rise for 14 straight months.
Shipment to the United States and the European Union went up in double digits to 8.8 billion dollars and 5.97 billion dollars respectively, while export to Southeast Asian countries gained 23.2 percent to 11.25 billion dollars.
Export to Japan picked up 16.3 percent to 2.71 billion dollars, and those to Latin American countries, India and the Middle East climbed to 2.24 billion dollars, 1.32 billion dollars and 1.67 billion dollars each.