Sophisticated electronic circuitry tops the ranking of highest value South Korean export products.
The following list shows which South Korean exports generated the most sales revenues during 2017. Unlike most trade information currently available on the web, the items below are detailed at the 4-digit tariff code level.
This granularity can help entrepreneurs identify precisely which products in which South Korea has strong competitive advantages over other nations, as well as profitable areas for innovation.
For the most recent four-digit HTS code data, please see the Searchable List of South Korea’s Most Valuable Exports Products section in the South Korea’s Top 10 Exports article. For a link to that article, see the See also paragraph above Research Sources below.
Highest Value South Korean Export Products
Below are the 20 highest value export products shipped from South Korea during 2017. Shown within brackets is the year-over-year change in value for each product category since 2017.
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$86.1 billion (up 82.7% since 2013)
- Cars: $38.8 billion (down -12.3%)
- Processed petroleum oils: $33.5 billion (down -34.4%)
- Cruise/cargo ships, barges: $24.1 billion (down -1.3%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $19.5 billion (down -18.1%)
- Light vessels, fire boats, floating docks: $15.8 billion (up 39.6%)
- Phone system devices: $15.7 billion (down -38.9%)
- Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools: $15.5 billion (down -38.9%)
- Cyclic hydrocarbons: $10.1 billion (down -2.9%)
- TV/radio/radar device parts: $8.2 billion (up 2.9%)
- Miscellaneous machine electrical parts: $8.1 billion (up 8675.8%)
- Computer parts, accessories: $7.6 billion (up 70.3%)
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $6.9 billion (up 110.1%)
- Computers, optical readers: $6.3 billion (up 54.8%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $6.2 billion (up 10.6%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $6.1 billion (up 18.7%)
- Electric storage batteries: $6 billion (up 28.6%)
- Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated): $5.9 billion (up 6.4%)
- Printed circuits: $5.5 billion (up 6.6%)
- Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products: $4.9 billion (up 0.7%)
Among South Korea’s most lucrative exports, miscellaneous machine electrical parts showed the greatest year-over-year gain in value up over 20,000%.
In second place was light vessels, fire boats and floating docks via a 104.7% increase, followed by international sales of computer parts and accessories which improved by 78.4%. Korean Integrated circuits and microassemblies appreciated by 64.7%.
At the other end of the spectrum, exported phone system devices including smartphones posted a -36.7% decline in value in 2017 while automobile parts and accessories fell by -10.6% from 2016.
See also South Korea’s Top 10 Exports and South Korea’s Top Trading Partners
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 3, 2018
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 3, 2018
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 3, 2018