south korea top trading partners

We have researched the South Korea Top Trading Partners. Hence, this article on south korea imports by country. Below, in this article, you will find south korea trade statistics. Read on to discover them.

The export-oriented policies of South Korea are one of the most important factors of its economic success. The country is the world’s seventh largest exporter of goods and the ninth largest importer (World Trade Organisation, 2020). In 2019 trade represented almost 76,7% of its GDP (World Bank, 2020). The country exports mainly electrical equipment (14.6% of total exports), vehicles (7.5%), petroleum oils (7.2%) and parts and accessories for vehicles (3.5%). Its main imports are petroleum oils (14%), electrical equipment (7.1%),Gas (4.8%), hydrocarbons (3.4%) and coal (3.1%). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting a rebound of 3.5% in the volume of exports of goods and services of this country in 2021, after a fall of 7.8% in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, and an increase of 3.5% of its imports, after a fall of 6.2% in 2020.

south korea imports by country

South Korea Top Trading Partners

South Korea is heavily integrated into international trade and finance and is subsequently highly vulnerable to external influences, especially from China, which is its main trade partner (25.1% of total exports), followed by United States (13.6%), Vietnam (8.9%), Hong Kong (5.9%) and Japan (5.2%). Its main suppliers are China (21.3%), United States (12.3%), Japan (9.5%), Saudi Arabia (4.3%) and Vietnam (4.2%) (Comtrade, 2020). South Korea has concluded free-trade agreements with many countries (the last one with five Central American countries) representing more than 70% of the global economy. The country is still considering joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which was signed by 11 Asia-Pacific countries in March 2018. On the 15th of November 2020 South Korea has signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 14 other Indo-Pacific countries. This free trade agreement is the largest trade deal in history, covering 30 per cent of the global economy. It includes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN : Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and ASEAN’s free trade agreement partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and Republic of Korea). The RCEP covers goods, services, investment, economic and technical cooperation. It also creates new rules for electronic commerce, intellectual property, government procurement, competition, and small and medium sized enterprises.

According to WTO, exports of goods amounted to USD 542.2 billion in 2019, while imports amounted to USD 503.3 billion. Exports of services amounted to USD 101.4 billion, while imports amounted to USD 124.9 billion. Since February 2012, the country’s trade balance has been in high surplus and is expected to remain so in the coming years. According to WTO, trade surplus including services amounted to USD 53.8 billion at the end of 2019.

Foreign Trade Values20152016201720182019
Imports of Goods (million USD)436,499406,192478,478535,202503,343
Exports of Goods (million USD)526,755495,426573,694604,860542,233
Imports of Services (million USD)112,345110,436120,317127,300124,975
Exports of Services (million USD)96,84492,82886,46997,957101,473

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators20152016201720182019
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)79.173.677.178.776.7
Trade Balance (million USD)120,275116,462113,593110,08776,856
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD)105,64999,12376,85980,71753,835
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)36.133.536.237.036.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts20202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change)-
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change)-

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
United States13.6%
Hong Kong5.9%
See More Countries41.3%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
United States12.3%
Saudi Arabia4.3%
See More Countries48.4%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

Main products

542.2 bn USD of products exported in 2019
Electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies14.6%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally…7.5%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous…7.2%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles…3.5%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line…3.3%
See More Products63.9%
503.3 bn USD of products imported in 2019
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous…14.0%
Electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies7.1%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons4.8%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous…3.4%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels…2.8%
See More Products67.9%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available DataSee More ProductsMore imports (Intracen Data)
More exports (Intracen Data)

To go further, check out our service Import/Export Flows.

Main Services

96.3 bn USD of services exported in 2018
Other business services22.52%
Construction services13.24%
Royalties and license fees8.05%
Computer and information services5.33%
Financial services2.97%
Cultural and recreational services1.15%
Government services1.14%
Insurance services0.89%
118.4 bn USD of services imported in 2018
Other business services27.77%
Royalties and license fees8.34%
Construction services2.76%
Computer and information services2.55%
Financial services1.70%
Government services1.26%
Insurance services0.80%
Cultural and recreational services0.72%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

south korea trade statistics

Local CurrencySouth Korean Won (KRW)Exchange Rate RegimeIndependently floating.Level of Currency InstabilityLowExchange Rate on March 02, 2021:1 KRW = 0.0009 USD, 1 USD = 1,122.0 KRW
1 KRW = 0.0007 EUR, 1 EUR = 1,356.0 KRW   

Monetary Indicators20152016201720182019
South Korean Won (KRW) – Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 EUR1,207.211,234.331,276.941,298.531,309.44

Source: World Bank – Latest available data.


AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.×280&!4&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=ai4TqlRMo9&p=https%3A//

It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.


LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.


Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.


Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.


DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.!5&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=x6FxDoGgJS&p=https%3A//

The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.


Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.


BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.


ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.


Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.


Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon


AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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