Published : 2013-01-13 10:37
Updated : 2013-01-13 10:37
South Korea saw the number of its leading export products fall from a year earlier, raising alarm bells over the country's trade competitiveness, data showed Sunday.
The number of South Korea's leading export products reached 61 in 2011, down from 71 the previous year, according to the data by the financial industry and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). Leading export products refer to product categories in which South Korea ranks first in export market share.
The data showed South Korea became No. 1 in exporting 16 new product categories, but also saw its top ranking fall in 26 product categories, which brings the balance to a decline of 10 product categories.
South Korea also saw the total value of its leading export products fall for the first time in four years to US$103.43 billion.
The decline was largely attributed to China's emerging presence. China exceeded South Korea in the IT, chemical and steel sectors by exporting more liquid-crystal displays and synthetic filament fibers.
By country, China had the biggest number of leading export products with 1,431, followed by Germany with 777 and the United States with 589. Italy ranked No. 4 with 230 and Japan trailed with 229, according to the data.
South Korea, meanwhile, ranked No. 15 in terms of leading products despite ranking seventh in overall export size.
Trade experts called for governments and companies to ramp up efforts to bolster South Korea's trade competitiveness.
"Continued product development and market expansion is needed to sustain the competitiveness of leading export products as well as increasing the number of such products," said Kang Seok-ki, a researcher at KITA. (Yonhap News)