Although trade with key partners weakened due to the global economic slowdown, Korea’s trade volume surpassed $1 trillion for the second consecutive year.
Outbound shipments to emerging markets rose, but overall exports fell 1.3 percent from a year earlier due to the Eurozone downturn and sluggish performances in major export items such as ships and wireless communications devices.
Thanks to ongoing efforts to open new markets and the conclusion of free trade agreements with major trading partners, exports to emerging markets and the United States showed steady growth. The European Union, however , saw a sharp decline due to concerns over the financial crisis.
While shipments of petroleum products and automobiles posted robust gains, exports of ships and wireless communication devices fell due to worsening global market conditions and rising overseas production.
Meanwhile, imports fell 0.9 percent year on year as international raw materials prices dropped and domestic demand weakened. Imports of raw materials, capital goods and consumer goods showed negative growth. While imports from the United States, the Middle East and the ASEAN region grew , imports from the European Union, Japan and Latin America shrank.