South Korean-made products have lost ground in China amid diplomatic row between Beijing and Seoul over the deployment of U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in Korea.
According to a trade report released by the Korea International Trade Association on Monday, Korean goods accounted for 9.4 percent in China’s import market in the first six months this year. Korean goods topped China’s import market list, but its share has taken toll from media-led boycott of Korean products due the Seoul government’s decision to install a highly powerful antimissile system accompanied with radar placing China in its surveillance range.
Korean goods in Chinese import market logged 10.0 percent share in 2016 and 10.4 percent in 2015.
The gap with Japan, the second-best player in China’s import market also narrowed to 0.5 percentage point from 0.8 percentage point in 2016.
On monthly basis, Korea was dethroned by the U.S in March and Japan in April and June.
Among the top five exporters to China, Korea was the only country that saw single-digit expansion in China in the first half this year. Others during the same period made big on-year jump in their shipment to China - Japan 15.6 percent, the U.S 19.9 percent, Taiwan 10.4 percent, and Australia whopping 55.8 percent.
By product, Korea’s mainstay products memory chips shipment to China soared 47.5 percent on year and petrochemical products shipment 13.7 percent while auto parts and mobile devices exports to China plunged 38.3 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively, during the same period.
The U.S was the largest importer of Chinese goods in the first half, followed by Hong Kong and Japan. Korea came as China’s third-largest export partner. China’s shipment to Korea grew at the fastest speed of 13.7 percent in the January-June period.
Foreigners’ direct investment in China has contracted since last year and recorded $65.7 billion, down 5.4 percent on year, in the first half. Korea’s investment in China halved to $1.5 billion in the first half from $2.8 billion in the same period last year.
By Moon Ji-woong
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