SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's trade volume topped the one-trillion U.S. dollar mark for the third straight year in 2013, ranking the ninth-largest in the world, customs data showed Tuesday.
The country's trade volume reached 1.075 trillion dollars in 2013, exceeding the 1 trillion dollar level for the third consecutive year, according to the Korea Customs Service. The figure was up 0.7 percent from a year earlier.
South Korea became the ninth-largest economy in trading as of October 2013, following China, the United States, Germany, Japan, France, the Netherlands, Britain, China's Hong Kong, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Exports, which account for around half of the economy, gained 2. 1 percent from a year earlier to reach a new high of 559.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2013.
Imports reduced 0.8 percent on-year to 515.6 billion U.S. dollars last year, sending trade surplus to a new record high of 44.1 billion dollars in 2013.
Exports to China and the United States, the country's two major trading partners, increased 8.6 percent and 6 percent each last year, offsetting a fall in exports to Japan and Europe.
Shipments to Japan tumbled 10.6 percent in 2013 from a year earlier on the back of the weak trend of the Japanese yen. Exports to Europe declined 1.1 percent last year as the European economies struggled to escape from the slump caused by the fiscal crisis.