The shift in trade could reflect the effects of growing number of export controls discouraging the sale of semiconductors to China, and surging worldwide demand for Korean EVs.

Financial Times 🔒 »

The US is the only one of South Korea’s top 10 export partners to which exports have grown over the past five years. Led by battery makers LG Energy Solution, SK On and Samsung SDI, and solar company Hanwha Q-Cells, South Korean companies have also been among the largest foreign investors in the US semiconductor and clean tech sectors.

By contrast China is waning in importance. A study published this month by the Korea International Trade Association showed that since 2021, the share of Korean exports going to China has declined in sectors including petroleum products, petrochemicals, steel, auto parts and displays.