Korea ranked eighth in the world in terms of trade volume in the first half of this year, up one notch from last year.
The Institute for International Trade on Sunday said the country's trade volume amounted to US$546.4 billion in the first six months of 2014.
Korea ranked seventh in terms of exports, which rose 2.5 percent to $283.3 billion over the same period, and ninth in terms of imports, which rose 2.6 percent to $263.1 billion.
The rise in Korea's ranking was due to increased exports to the U.S. and Europe. Exports to Europe rose 11.3 percent compared to the first half of 2013, powered by booming shipments of petroleum products, mobile gadgets and semiconductors.
Exports to the U.S. rose 8.1 percent thanks to car and steel shipments. However, exports to China shrank 0.1 percent with shipments of petroleum products (down 27.3 percent) and flat screen displays (down 11.8 percent) falling the most.
But China remained Korea's largest export destination. Trade with China totaled $2.2 trillion in the first half, followed by $1.98 trillion with the U.S. and $1.4 trillion with Germany.
Shin Seung-kwan at the institute said, "The global economic recovery is taking longer than expected so export conditions are unlikely to improve."