ASEAN becomes RoK’s second-largest export market. (Photo: customstoday.com.pk)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s exports to 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) in the first half of 2018 gained 5.9 percent to 48.93 billion USD, making the bloc its second-largest export market. 

Data released on August 23 by the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed that the country’s exports reached an all-time high in the reviewed period, led by upbeat sales of memory chips and petrochemical products.

The RoK’s outbound shipments reached 296.79 billion USD in the January-June period, up 6.3 percent from a year earlier.

Exports of semiconductors jumped 42.9 percent on-year to a record high of 61.27 billion USD in the first six months of the year on the back of high-value memory chips and storage devices, propelling the overall growth. 

Sales of petrochemical goods vaulted 34.3 percent to 22.01 billion USD thanks to a rise in crude oil prices and strong demand in key markets, including China. 

In contrast, auto exports declined 5.6 percent to 20.28 billion USD due to sluggish performance in the North American market. 

Overseas sales of ships tumbled 54.8 percent to 10.81 billion USD, hit by the protracted slump in the global market. 

According to the ministry, exports to China, the RoK’s top export market, rose 21 percent to 79.2 billion USD, and those to the US increased 1.3 percent to 34.45 billion USD.

The ministry said a global economic recovery will help the country's outbound shipments but cited trade disputes between the US and China, and the volatility in the global financial market as potential risks.-VNA