South Korea beat Japan to become the biggest player in the Chinese import market last year on the back of growing demand for Korean-made machinery and electronics parts, data showed Sunday.
According to the Korea International Trade Association, the share of Korean-made products rose to 9.24 percent in 2013 from 9.17 percent a year ago in the Chinese import market, taking the No. 1 spot for the first time.
Japan's market share fell to 8.19 percent from 9.78 percent during the same period, the KITA data said.
A rise in demand for Korean-made machinery and electronics parts, the two industries that emerged as the biggest driver of the country's exports, pushed up South Korea's share in China, KITA said.
Last year, China imported integrated circuits, an assembly of electronic components, worth $45.25 billion, up 14.7 percent from a year ago, topping the list of the country's imported goods from South Korea.
Its imports of parts for wireless communication devices amounted to $10.7 billion in 2013, up 20.6 percent from the previous year.
Diplomatic disputes between China and Japan, including a territorial row over islands in the South China Sea, helped increase China's imports from South Korea, the trade association said.
South Korea's exports to China, its biggest trading partner, reached $559.7 billion last year, taking up 26.1 percent of the country's overall exports. (Yonhap)