Korea's export dependence on China has reached an all-time high. Experts warn that such a heavy reliance on a single market could become a costly mistake.
The Korea International Trade Association on Monday said China accounted for 26.1 percent of Korea's total exports of US$559.6 billion last year. The proportion in 2012 was 24.5 percent.
Exports to China were led by mobile phones, car parts and semiconductors. As the economies of advanced markets showed signs of recovery, exports of finished products made in China grew, raising demand for Korean-made parts there.
Korea achieved a $60.6 billion trade surplus with China, compared to the overall trade surplus of $44.2 billion.
But experts caution that growing exports to China are a double-edged sword because its economic growth is tapering off and Beijing is shifting its growth policy from quantity to quality.
Shin Seung-kwan at KITA said, "We need to expand other export markets such as India and Brazil while working to tap into the Chinese consumer market."