Korea one of EU’s top three non-Europe importers

2023.09.14 13:09:01 | 2023.09.14 13:14:40

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South Korea was the European Union’s third-largest offshore importer of goods, surpassing Japan and Russia for the first time, according to a report on Wednesday.

The EU’s offshore imports fell by 8.6 percent from January to April this year compared to last year, but imports from Korea grew by 10.7 percent, putting the country in third place behind China and the United States, the Korea International Trade Association said in its latest report.

In terms of import volume from the EU, China ($188.1 billion) and the United States ($123.8 billion) ranked first and second in the in the period respectively, while Korea ranked seventh with $26.4 billion.

However, when excluding countries in the European region such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Turkiye, and Norway, Korea ranked third behind China and the United States, followed by Japan ($26.2 billion) and Russia ($21.1 billion).

In the first seven months of this year, Korea’s exports to the EU also saw a 3.5 percent increase to hit an all-time high. This positive trend in exports to the EU persisted even as Korea’s overall global exports decreased by 13 percent during the same period.

Key export items from South Korea to the EU in the first half of this year included automobiles, secondary batteries, and biopharmaceuticals. Among the import items from the EU to South Korea, the import value significantly increased for secondary battery materials (cathode materials up 107 percent, graphite and electrolyte up 190 percent), biopharmaceuticals (up 91.3 percent), and finished vehicles (up 32.6 percent) compared to a year ago.

In secondary batteries, the EU’s domestic production drive led to an expansion of material exports (cathode materials, separators, and anode materials), while exports of finished products and components showed a declining trend, the report said.

The automotive sector witnessed significant growth in electric vehicle exports to Germany and France. In terms of components, more chassis and tires, which are used across several vehicle models, were exported to Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Korean exports of biopharmaceuticals to the EU increased significantly in both raw materials and finished products, with new markets in Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy opening for more Korean pharmaceuticals.

By Pulse

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