Petrochemical products for the first time became Korea's top export in the first six months of this year.
According to the Knowledge Economy Ministry on Thursday, shipments of gasoline, diesel and other petrochemical products totaled US$27.3 billion from January to June, outpacing ships ($25.5 billion) to become the leading export. That marks an 11.5 percent rise from the same period last year, accounting for 9.9 percent of Korea's total exports of $275.4 billion.
Ships accounted for 9.3 percent of exports, cars for 9.1 percent, and semiconductors and general machinery for 8.8 percent.
The reasons for the growth are that the prices of petrochemical products have risen steeply and export volume has also increased. Gasoline exports rose 45 percent, diesel 12.3 percent and aviation fuel 15.2 percent.