South Korea's exports grew at the fastest pace among the world's top 10 exporters, data by the World Trade Organization (WTO) showed Tuesday, thanks to brisk sales of semiconductors and petrochemical products.
Outbound shipments amounted to US$328 billion in the first seven months of this year, making South Korea the world's sixth-largest exporter, up 16.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the WTO's monthly merchandise trade data.
Overseas sales by China, the world's No. 1 exporter, showed a 8.3 percent gain to $1.24 trillion in the January-July period, the data showed.
The United States exported $880.2 billion in the cited period, a 6.6 percent rise on-year, followed by Germany that reported a 4.3 percent jump to $812.7 billion.
The combined exports by 70 major economies in the January-July period increased 8.8 percent to $9.14 trillion, it noted.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy attributed South Korea's good performance to the recovery in the global manufacturing industry and price hikes of major export items, such as memory chips, petrochemical products and vehicles.
The growth, however, is expected to slow in the second half of this year as the U.S. central bank plans to reduce its asset buying program and protectionism in major economies is rising, the ministry said.