South Korea's exports of industrial parts and materials reached a record high in the first half on growing shipments to advanced countries, including the United States, the government said Monday.
In the first six months of the year, outbound shipments of industrial parts and materials amounted to US$133.9 billion, up 3.1% from the same period last year, according to the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The country's trade surplus in the sector also climbed to a new first-half high of $50.8 billion as imports gained 1.6% on-year to $83.1 billion.
Exports to the United States climbed 8.6% on-year to $12.9 billion with shipments to European countries spiking 13.5% to $16.8 billion in the first half.
Shipments to China, the world's largest importer of South Korean products, also gained 2.3% to $45.1 billion.
Exports to Japan rose 4.4% on-year to some $7.1 billion while imports from Japan plunged 12.8% to $15 billion, marking a significant drop in South Korea's dependence on its Asian neighbor for imports.
The portion of Japanese products in the country's overall imports of industrial parts and materials dropped to a record low of 18% in the first half, the ministry said in a press release.
"The country continued to post a trade deficit with Japan in the industrial parts and materials sector, but its deficit continued to narrow from $10.4 billion in the first half last year to $7.9 billion," it said.
By product, the country's shipments of chemical products gained 1.8% on-year to some $22.64 billion with those of machinery parts rising 7.2% to $12.38 billion.
Shipments of parts for computers and other office equipment, on the other hand, dropped 5.2% to about $2.02 billion.