South Korea's exports grew the fastest among the world's ten largest exporters this year.
According to the Trade Ministry's analysis of data from the World Trade Organization on November 19, the world's commodity exports increased nine-point-two percent on-year in the first nine months of the year.
South Korea posted on-year growth of 18-point-five percent, the largest gain among the world's ten biggest exporters. The nation has been posting the largest growth for three straight quarters this year.
Among the top ten exporters, it was only Korea and the Netherlands whose commodity shipments posted double digit growth during the first nine months of the year. Among other countries, Russia posted growth of nearly 26 percent.
Korea's export growth appears to be accelerating.
Export growth reached 35 percent in September, three times larger than the global average of about eleven percent.
Thanks to the fast growth, Korea's export ranking rose to sixth this year, up two places from a year earlier. The world's largest exporter is China, followed by the U.S., Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.
Strong exports are attributed to the global economic recovery. Seoul's trade ministry also gives credit to increased prices of staple export items, diversification and more shipments going to emerging markets.
Although exports now contribute less to economic growth than in the past, they are still the backbone of the Korean economy. South Korea, with relatively small domestic demand, inevitably relies on exports so their growth is clearly a good sign for the economy.
The growth trend is expected to continue in the fourth quarter with the global share of Korean exports expected to reach a record high.
Korean exports commanded a 3.3 percent global share in the first half of this year, outpacing the previous record of 3.19 percent in 2015.
However, the trade ministry warned that insecurities remain, including fiscal tightening by the U.S. and European nations, the spread of trade protectionism, and unstable global oil costs due to the situation in the Middle East.