South Korea’s economic growth is being squeezed by its reliance on exports to China.
Korean shipments to China fell 5.6 percent last year to $137 billion, a second straight annual decline. By comparison, sales to the U.S. were little changed at $70 billion. About a quarter of Korea’s overseas shipments head to China. Korean companies are losing opportunities to sell not only because China’s economy is decelerating, but also because Chinese manufacturers are moving up the value chain and competing more in the global market while buying fewer intermediate goods from Korea.
South Korea reports fourth-quarter and 2015 gross domestic product figures Tuesday. Growth is expected to have slowed to 0.6 percent from the third quarter when it increased 1.3 percent.