Flag South Korea

Econ Complexity (2018): 1.85, Rank 5 of 137

Product Exports (2018): $617B, Rank 5 of 222

Exports Per Capita (2018): $11.9k, Rank 63 of 219

Product Imports (2018): $509B, Rank 10 of 221

Imports Per Capita (2018): $9.87k, Rank 65 of 219

Service Exports (2018): $96.3B, Rank 8 of 88

Service Imports (2018): $118B, Rank 8 of 88

GDP (2018): $1.62T, CURRENT US$
Rank 12 of 196

GDP growth (2008 - 2018): 61.6%, CURRENT US$
Rank 69 of 196

GDP PC (2018): $31,363, CURRENT US$
Rank 34 of 196

GDP PC GROWTH (2008 - 2018): 53.5%, CURRENT US$
Rank 42 of 196

Overview: In 2018 South Korea was the number 12 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 5 in total exports, the number 10 in total imports, the number 34 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 5 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI)

Exports: The top exports of South Korea are Integrated Circuits ($113B), Refined Petroleum ($43.6B), Cars ($38.7B), Vehicle Parts ($19B), and Office Machine Parts ($18.8B), exporting mostly to China ($160B), United States ($73.1B), Vietnam ($48.6B), Hong Kong ($44.5B), and Japan ($30.8B).

In 2018, South Korea was the world's biggest exporter of Integrated Circuits ($113B), Passenger and Cargo Ships ($15.8B), Cyclic Hydrocarbons ($11.4B), Special Purpose Ships ($7.43B), and Electrical Parts ($4.34B)

Imports: The top imports of South Korea are Crude Petroleum ($74.8B), Integrated Circuits ($32B), Petroleum Gas ($23B), Refined Petroleum ($20.2B), and Coal Briquettes ($14.1B), importing mostly from China ($107B), United States ($55.8B), Japan ($51.5B), Saudi Arabia ($23.5B), and Germany ($20.4B).

In 2018, South Korea was the world's biggest importer of Photo Lab Equipment ($11.8B), Inorganic Compounds ($1.28B), Cobalt Oxides and Hydroxides ($852M), Carbonates ($729M), Refractory Bricks ($235M)

Location: South Korea borders North Korea by land and China and Japan by sea.

Latest Trends (December, 2020)

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Overview: In December 2020 South Korea exported $51.4B and imported $44.6B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $6.8B. Between December 2019 and December 2020 the exports of South Korea have increased by $5.74B (12.6%) from $45.7B to $51.4B, while imports increased by $935M (2.14%) from $43.7B to $44.6B.

Trade: In December 2020, the top exports of South Korea were Electrical machinery and equipment and parts... ($15.7B), Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical... ($6.55B), Vehicles; other than railway or tramway... ($5.55B), Plastics and articles thereof ($3.18B), and Ships, boats and floating structures ($2.7B). In December 2020 the top imports of South Korea were Electrical machinery and equipment and parts... ($8.91B), Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products... ($7.5B), Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical... ($5.84B), Vehicles; other than railway or tramway... ($2.15B), and Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, medical... ($1.95B).

Destinations: In December 2020, South Korea exported mostly to China ($12.7B), United States ($7.16B), Vietnam ($5.27B), Hong Kong ($3.1B), and Japan ($2.33B), and imported mostly from China ($10.9B), United States ($4.91B), Japan ($4.7B), Germany ($1.95B), and Australia ($1.89B).

Growth: In December 2020, the increase in South Korea's year-by-year exports was explained primarily by an increase in exports to Vietnam ($1.39B or 35.9%), Marshall Islands ($1.01B or 456%), and United States ($746M or 11.6%), and product exports increase in Electrical machinery and equipment and parts... ($3.12B or 24.8%), Ships, boats and floating structures ($1.48B or 121%), and Pharmaceutical products ($661M or 176%). In December 2020, the increase in South Korea's year-by-year imports was explained primarily by an increase in imports from China ($1.85B or 20.5%), Japan ($777M or 19.8%), and Netherlands ($370M or 87%), and product imports increase in Electrical machinery and equipment and parts... ($1.46B or 19.6%), Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical... ($1.44B or 32.6%), and Vehicles; other than railway or tramway... ($337M or 18.6%).

Flow
Value

EXPORT GROWTH (December 2019 - December 2020): $5.74B, (12.6%)

IMPORT GROWTH (December 2019 - December 2020): $935M, (2.14%)

MAIN DESTINATION (December 2020): China, $12.7B

This section shows exports and imports data at subnational level for South Korea. Click any date in the line plot, or any product, destination or origin country to explore the exports or imports behavior of South Korea over time.

Comparison in Time

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Flow
Value

This section shows the differences between South Korea's total subnational aggregate trade throughout time.

Yearly Exports

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Value
Depth

Top Export (2018): Integrated Circuits, $113B

Top Destination (2018): China, $160B

In 2018, South Korea exported a total of $617B, making it the number 5 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of South Korea have changed by $43.8B from $573B in 2013 to $617B in 2018.

The most recent exports are led by Integrated Circuits ($113B), Refined Petroleum ($43.6B), Cars ($38.7B), Vehicle Parts ($19B), and Office Machine Parts ($18.8B). The most common destination for the exports of South Korea are China ($160B), United States ($73.1B), Vietnam ($48.6B), Hong Kong ($44.5B), and Japan ($30.8B).

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Yearly Imports

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Value
Depth

Top Import (2018): Crude Petroleum, $74.8B

Top Origin (2018): China, $107B

In 2018 South Korea imported $509B, making it the number 10 trade destination in the world. During the last five reported years the imports of South Korea changed by $12.6B from $497B in 2013 to $509B in 2018.

The most recent imports of South Korea are led by Crude Petroleum ($74.8B), Integrated Circuits ($32B), Petroleum Gas ($23B), Refined Petroleum ($20.2B), and Coal Briquettes ($14.1B). The most common import partners for South Korea are China ($107B), United States ($55.8B), Japan ($51.5B), Saudi Arabia ($23.5B), and Germany ($20.4B).

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Flow

Fastest Growing Export Markets (2017 - 2018)

  • China, $10B (+ 6.7%)
  • Hong Kong, $9.69B (+ 27.8%)
  • Chinese Taipei, $5.69B (+ 38.2%)

Fastest Growing Import Markets (2017 - 2018)

South Korea Exports Services (2018): $96.3B

South Korea Imports Services (2018): $118B

In 2018, South Korea exported $96.3B worth of services. The top services exported by South Korea in 2018 were Transportation ($27.7B), Other business services ($21.7B), Travel ($15.3B), Construction services ($12.7B), and Royalties and license fees ($7.75B).

The top services imported by South Korea in 2018 were Other business services ($32.9B), Transportation ($32.1B), Travel ($32B), Royalties and license fees ($9.88B), and Construction services ($3.27B).

Trade Forecasts

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This section shows forecasts for total product exports and imports for South Korea. The forecast is based in a long short-term memory model or LSTM constructed using yearly trade data.

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Tariffs by Product

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The top product import tariffs by their MFN Ad Valorem value for South Korea are Cereals unmilled nes (800%) and Cereals: fonio (Digitaria spp.) (800%).

Click any of the products in the bar chart to see the specific Ad Valorem Duty Rates by partner country.

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*The tariffs applied to imports for South Korea are:
84: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ) Free Trade Area
136: Most Favoured Nation duty rate treatement
165: Preferential tariff for Australia
168: Preferential tariff for Bangladesh
178: Preferential tariff for Canada
182: Preferential tariff for Chile
184: Preferential tariff for China
189: Preferential tariff for Colombia
217: Preferential tariff for European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries
218: Preferential tariff for European Union countries
238: Preferential tariff for Iceland
239: Preferential tariff for India
252: Preferential tariff for Lao PDR
254: Preferential tariff for Least Developed Countries
277: Preferential tariff for New Zealand
281: Preferential tariff for Norway
289: Preferential tariff for Peru
299: Preferential tariff for Singapore
306: Preferential tariff for Switzerland
312: Preferential tariff for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
322: Preferential tariff for Turkey
329: Preferential tariff for United States under (AUSFTA) Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement
333: Preferential tariff for Vietnam
335: Preferential tariff selected (GSTP) Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries
340: Preferential tariff under the Trade Negotiations among Developing Countries (TNDC) in WTO
343: Preferential trade agreement (APTA) Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement or (Previously named:Bangkok Agreement)

Economic Complexity

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Economic Complexity Ranking

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Scale

During the last 20 years South Korea's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively mÑs complex, moving from the ⁩⁨26th to the 5th⁩ position in the ECI rank.

These economic complexity rankings use 6 digit exports classified according to the HS96 classification. We consider only countries with population of at least 1 million and exports of at least $1 billion, and products with world trade over $500 million. To explore different rankings and vary these parameters visit the custom rankings section.

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Comparison Map

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Value

This section shows exports, imports and economic complexity data at subnational level for South Korea.

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Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

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South Korea has a high level of specialization in Electrical Parts (14), Inorganic Compounds (10.9), Passenger and Cargo Ships (9.69), Halides (7.9), and Oxometallic or Peroxometallic Acid Salts (7.65). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between South Korea observed and expected exports in each product.

Most Complex Products by PCI

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The highest complexity exports of South Korea according to the product complexity index (PCI) are Machining centre, single/multistation transfer machine (2.58), Photo plate, film, exposed or developed, except cine (2.4), Cermets and articles thereof, waste or scrap (2.21), Chemical element/compound wafers doped for electronics (2.2), and Chemical preparations for photographic use (2.16). PCI measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

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The top export opportunities for South Korea according to the relatedness index, are Photographic Film (0.31), Incomplete Movement Sets (0.28), Audio and Video Recording Accessories (0.27), Tin Bars (0.27), and Knitting Machines (0.26). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that South Korea is not specialized in.

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products it is currently specialized in.

Diversification Frontier

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Depth

The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk and the strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is a predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower emissions.