South Korea’s trade ties with China weaken
This surplus can be attributed to the declining economic growth of China, which also directly affects the exports from South Korea. South Korea’s exports to China fell consistently from $145.8 billion in 2013 to $137.1 billion in 2015 and finally to $100.6 billion in the first 10 months of 2016.
This drop can also be visibly seen in South Korea’s polymer export to China. According to ChemOrbis Import Statistics, South Korea’s polymer exports to China have been steadily falling since 2013. They decreased by 7.7% on a yearly basis to around 2.7 million tons in 2014, by 4.37% in 2015 to around 2.6 million tons while polymer exports from South Korea to China were down by 6.47% to around 1.8 million tons in the first three quarters of 2016 on yearly basis.
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