Monday, August 02, 2004


Link to .pdf file is here. Some highlights:
China remains the ROK's number one trading partner:
In the first six months, China has been Korea’s number one trading partner, accounting for over 16 percent of two-way trade. The United States was Korea’s second largest trading partner, with total two-way trade amounting to $34.2 billion or 14.8 percent. Japan was third with $33.4 billion in total trade and 14.4 percent. Exports to China increased 57.2 percent year-on-year to $23.5 billion, making China Korea’s number one export market. The United States was second, with $20.4 billion worth of exports; and Japan was third with $10.6 billion. Most of Korea’s exports to China are in intermediate goods, and studies by Korea International Trade Association (KITA), the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), and others have shown that a large portion of the final products are reshipped to third countries, with about 40 percent reexported to the United States. Imports from China were up 34.1 percent year-to-year to $13.5 billion, but China was in third place behind Japan with $22.8 billion and the United States with $13.8 billion.
So the ROK, like Taiwan, is subsidizing some of the U.S. trade deficit with the PRC.

The ROK is also particularly vulnerable to oil price increases:
A recent study by KITA found that South Korea would likely be hardest hit in the Asia-Pacific region by rising oil prices. According to the KITA report, a $5 per barrel increase in the price of oil would worsen Korea’s trade balance by $5.5 billion a year, while China’s trade balance would decrease by only $4.3 billion and the U.S. balance by $3.5 billion.

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