Exports reach record high in first 3 quarters

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Exports reach record high in first 3 quarters

In the first nine months of the year, Korea’s exports reached an all-time high, led by upbeat sales of memory chips and petroleum products, government data showed on Thursday.

Outbound shipments reached $450.33 billion in the first three quarters, a 4.7 percent surge from last year, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Sales of semiconductors jumped 38.1 percent to reach a high of $95.59 billion in the January-September period, backed by strong global demand for advanced memory chips.

Exports of petroleum goods soared 33.8 percent to $37.72 billion over the period thanks to rising oil prices and robust global demand, also breaking the previous record.

This year, exports of promising new sectors, such as electric vehicles, robots, bio and new high-tech materials, grew at a faster pace to bolster overall growth, the ministry said.

Among them, electric vehicles were the fastest growing segment, with exports surpassing $1 billion for the first time this year, it noted. There has been a huge demand for eco-friendly cars globally as more and more people try to do their part to help control global warming.

If this current trend continues, the nation’s exports are expected to rise to the highest level ever by surpassing $600 billion this year, the ministry said.

On Thursday, Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo met with senior representatives of the Korea International Trade Association to discuss ways to keep the growth momentum going next year.

The ministry said it will work with trade promotion agencies and provincial governments to provide customized support for small and medium-sized exporters and expand global marketing support for promising new sectors.

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