Korea records highest Q1 growth among top exporting nations
Published : May 21, 2017 - 15:03
Updated : May 21, 2017 - 16:45
South Korea‘s exports recorded the fastest quarter growth among the world’s leading exporting countries with its first quarter revenue totaling $132.3 billion, up 14.9 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the World Trade Organization on Sunday.

Despite a decline in world trade over the past two years, Korea’s exports have recovered rapidly, jumping from the No. 8 spot last year to No. 6 among the top 10 exporting countries ranking for the first quarter of this year.

The Korea Customs Service stated exports from May 1 to 20 totaled to $25.4 billion, up 3.4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Exports also jumped 24.1 percent last month, rising every month since last November. Despite exports to the US declining by 6.5 percent, the export-heavy Korea has seen an increase in exports for the past seven consecutive months, with exports up 3.4 percent so far in the month of May.

The volume of oil and petrochemical goods exports by Korean refiners also reached an all-time high in the first three months of the year. According to the data compiled by the Korea Petroleum Association late last month, exports by SK Innovation, Hyundai Oilbank, GS-Caltex, S-Oil and others companies reached 117 million barrels -- a 6.5 percent rise compared the same period last year.

Data compiled by the Bank of Korea last month showed the country‘s first quarter gross domestic product had also grown faster than anticipated, expanding by 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter from January to March after growing 0.5 percent in last year’s fourth quarter.

According to the WTO, the world trade industry as a whole is seeing its first signs of rebounding this year, raking in $76.67 trillion dollars in the first three months of the year, up roughly 10.4 percent compared to 2016.

The world’s 71 main trading countries saw an average first quarter rate growth this year reaching roughly 9.8 percent, with 64 countries seeing positive growth.

China’s exports -- the world‘s largest exporter – rose by 8.2 percent, while exports from the US, the world’s second largest exporter, rose by 7.3 percent.

Exports across Asia also showed signs of positive growth with Japan, rank No. 4 in trade volume, saw a 10.2 percent jump in its exports.

Outside the Top 10 nation’s rankings in Asia, Indonesia saw a 21.1 percent spike in exports, the Philippines at 18.3 percent, India with 17 percent, Singapore with 16.2 percent, Vietnam at 15.1 percent and Taiwan with a 15.1 percent increase.

By Julie Jackson (