Korea’s exports of semiconductors are expected to exceed US$100 billion for the first time this year.
The Institute for International Trade, which is affiliated with the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), released on June 27 a report on imports and exports in the first half of 2018 and forecasts for the second half of the year.
According to the report, the total amount of Korean trade is expected to record US$1.136 trillion in total, including US$605 billion in exports and US$531 billion in imports.
Korea's annual trade surpassed US$1 trillion for four consecutive years since 2011, but fell below that in 2015 and 2016. It exceeded US$1 trillion again last year by reaching US$1.552 trillion.
Export growth this year is led by semiconductors, general machinery, and petrochemical products. In particular, this year's semiconductor exports are expected to reach US$125 billion, exceeding US$100 billion for the first time. However, chip exports are expected to slow down somewhat in the second half of the year, as China’s semiconductor production will be in full swing.
Moon Byeong-ki, a senior researcher at the Institute for International Trade, said, "Exports of automobiles, mobile phones and displays are likely to improve in the second half of the year thanks to global economic growth, the uptick in the IT sector, and rising oil prices. Export reliance on semiconductors is expected to improve somewhat."