Export of energy products, including petrochemical products, shows steady growth since 2009.
Export trends change from IT to manufacturing industry and then to energy industry.
Export of energy products, including petroleum products and petrochemicals, lead Korea’s export growth thanks to high oil prices and increase in demand in emerging countries.
According to the ‘Trend of export proportion of major product groups’ announced on November 14 by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, export proportion of energy products, including petroleum products and petrochemicals, increased every year after 2009 when it recorded 13.9%. Since then, it increased from 14.4% in 2010 to 17.5% in 2011 and 18.7% in 2012.
The increase is analyzed to attribute to rise in oil prices and expansion in demand in emerging countries.
Petrochemical products led the increase in export proportion as Korea’s companies aggressively invested in emerging countries, including China, to meet growing demand. Demand for such products in China increased by 10.8% annually on average from 37 million tons in 2001 to 103 million tons in 2011, resulting in growth in export of petrochemical products.
Thanks to steady hike in international oil prices and diversification of markets, export proportion of petroleum products also showed significant increase. Particularly, export of petroleum products grew owing to an increase in demand for energy in Japan due to the disastrous earthquake in March 2011 and expansion in export to the EU after effectuation of the Korea-EU FTA.
While export percentage of major manufactured products that account for 40% of entire export amount, such as automobiles, general machinery and steel, is steadily increasing, that of textile and ships sharply dropped in recent months.
Though export proportion of major information technology (IT) products recently decreased due to increase in overseas production, that of electronic components, such as LCDs and semiconductors, remains to be high.
The Knowledge Economy Ministry analyzed that lopsidedness in proportion of 12 major export items is improving as the ratio steadily dropped since it recorded the peak in 2007. Export proportion of 12 major items decreased from 82.9% in 2005 to 79.9% in this year (January ~ October).
The analysis showed that Korea’s export was driven by IT industry in the early and mid-2000s, by mainstream manufacturing industry, such as automobile and steel, in middle and latter part of the 2000s, and by energy industry, including petrochemical, in recent years.
An official at the Knowledge Economy Ministry said, “Korea needs to develop high value-added products by combining mainstream manufacturing with IT industry while promoting energy products as major export items. The industry needs to beef up capability of exporting energy-related components, substances and equipment in line with expansion in overseas production of energy, while exploring new export engine, such as knowledge service industry.