South Korean exports hit a record high of more than US$250 billion last year, with the country's trade surplus doubling year-on-year to some US$30 billion, government figures showed yesterday.
Semiconductors, autos, mobile phone handsets and ships led the outstanding performance in exports, the ministry of commerce, industry and energy said in a preliminary report based on customs clearance.
Exports jumped 31.2 percent year-on-year to hit US$254.22 billion last year, the biggest ever reported by the country, the report said. Imports also rose 25.5 percent to US$224.47 billion last year.
The trade surplus of US$29.75 billion was nearly a two-fold increase from US$14.99 billion reported in 2003, it said.
"The country's annual exports exceeded the US$250 billion level in volume for the first time last year," the ministry said in a statement. "The world's overall economic recovery and strong demand for our semiconductors, cars and mobile phones contributed to such a good performance in exports."