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Korean exports expand U.S. market share on U.S.-China dispute

All News 10:09 December 22, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean products have expanded their combined market share in the United States so far this year, partly because of a sharp drop in U.S.-bound shipments by their Chinese competitors amid the prolonged U.S.-China trade conflict, a report suggested Sunday.

In the first 10 months of the year, South Korea shipped US$64.6 billion worth of products to the U.S., accounting for 3.1 percent of the latter's overall imports during the period, according to the report from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

It marks the highest market share in three years, and also a turnaround from a slight on-year drop in 2018 to 2.9 percent from 3.0 percent the year before.

Korean exports expand U.S. market share on U.S.-China dispute - 1

Such an advance comes despite a steady decline in South Korea's overall exports, which have dropped for 12 consecutive months since December 2018 amid the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. China is by far the world's single largest importer of South Korean products.

However, the report showed the country's exports to the U.S. may have benefited from the U.S.-China trade conflict as it led to a much greater drop in Chinese exports to the U.S.

In the January-October period, China's exports to the U.S. accounted for 18.2 percent of overall U.S. imports, down from 21.2 percent over the same period last year.

The sheer amount of South Korean exports to the U.S. has also increased.

In the first nine months of the year, South Korean shipments to the U.S. amounted to $54.33 billion, up 3.6 percent from $52.45 billion the same period last year, according to data from Statistics Korea.

An earlier report from the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) also insisted the dispute could hold an opportunity for South Korean products to replace some of their Chinese competitors in the U.S. market.

Washington has been imposing higher import tariffs on tens of billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports since earlier this year.

The KOTRA report noted the combined market share of Chinese products subject to higher tariffs plunged to 12.5 percent in the first quarter of this year from 16.4 percent three months earlier, adding that the combined market share of their South Korean competitors increased from 3.0 percent to 3.3 percent over the cited period.

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