Exports Could Reach US$600 Billion in 2014

Korea's exports are expected to increase to US$600 billion this year as the global economy recovers. Imports are also expected to reach $562 billion, pushing the total amount of trade to $1 trillion for the fourth year running. 

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Wednesday said exports are expected to rise 6.4 percent compared to 2013 to a record $595.5 billion.

Exports of key products -- ships, mobile devices, automobiles, general machinery and petrochemical products -- are forecast to rise more than four percent powered by the global recovery.

Recovering domestic consumption, meanwhile, are expected to boost imports by nine percent to $562 billion.

But external risks are present in the form of a weakening yen and strengthening won as well as an end to pump-priming measures in the U.S.

In 2013, Korea's total trade reached $1 trillion for the third straight year, while exports and trade surplus also hit all-time highs. Exports rose 2.2 percent on-year to $559.7 billion, while the trade surplus amounted to $44.2 billion, breaking the previous record set in 2010.

China accounted for a bigger portion of Korea's trade, rising from 24.5 percent in 2012 to 26.1 percent last year. Korea's trade surplus with China in 2013 amounted to $60.6 billion.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 02, 2014 12:01 KST