While South Korea has suffered a fall in its exports to China, Korean products have seen their share growing in China. It can be interpreted as major competitors including those from Germany and Japan underwent a bigger drop in their exports to China than the country did.
According to an international trade researcher at the Korea Foreign Trade Association (KFTA) on June 19, Korean products increased their share in China’s import market by 1.7 percentage points from 9.2 percent in 2013 to 10.9 percent in 2015. During the same period, China’s imports from South Korea recorded a drop from US$179.4 billion to US$174.3 billion. To be brief, China’s imports from Korea have fallen, while the share of Korean products in the Chinese market has rather increased. During the period, China suffered a sharp drop in its total imports from US$1,941.5 billion to US$1,061.6 billion.
South Korea’s exports to China are continuously falling after hitting a record low of US$145.9 billion in 2013. KFTA chief researcher Mun Byeong-gi said, “Major competitors including from Germany and Japan are suffering a bigger decline in their exports to China than we are.” He also explained, “Considering that China’s import demand itself has recently shrunk much, Korea’s competitiveness seems not to be much behind other countries.”
South Korean semiconductors have seen a jump in their share in China’s import market from 18.5 percent (US$48.7 billion) in 2013 to 22.8 percent (US$60.1 billion). The shares of computers and auto parts grew from 9.2% (US$4.9 billion) and 14.0 percent (U$3.8 billion) to 12.9 percent and 16.5 percent, respectively.
The share taken by Korean wireless communications devices has dropped by 2.7 percentage points from 20.3 percent (US$13.9 billion) to 17.6 percent (US$11.8 billion). And other fields have also suffered a drop in the market share, including autos falling from 3.7 percent (US$1.8 billion) to 2.5 percent (US$1.1 billion), and petrochemicals from 21.9 percent (US$25 billion) to 20.6 percent (US$18.8 billion).
By country, the share of US products increased by 1.6 percentage points from 7.4 percent (US$144.3 billion) to 9.0 percent (US$144 billion) in 2015. US autos in particular saw a jump in their share by as much as 6.3 percentage points from 19.8 percent (US$9.7 billion) to 26.1 percent (US$11.8 billion) during the same period. Germany had an increase in its share by 0.7 percentage points from 4.8 percent to 5.5 percent, and Japan also saw a growth in its share by 0.7 percentage points from 8.2 percent to 8.9 percent.