South Korea became the second-largest exporter to China last year following Japan as shipments of parts and raw materials jumped to feed the booming Chinese economy, officials said Jan. 17. According to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), South Korea's exports to China jumped 23.5% to US$76.8 billion last year, surpassing Taiwan's $74.6 billion and the EU's $73.6 billion.
South Korea's imports from China also rose 26.3% to $35.1 billion last year, bringing bilateral trade to a record $111.9 billion.
Japan maintained its position as the largest exporter to China, with shipments reaching $100.5 billion.
"About 80% of South Korea's exports to China are parts and components and raw materials. China bought a lot more from South Korea last year to support its booming exports," said, KITA research fellow, Yang Pyoung-Sub. China's imports of South Korea's high-tech and auto parts for Hyundai Motor Group's China operations rose sharply, he said. Hyundai Motor and its sister Kia Motors produced more than 300,000 cars in China in 2005.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006