So far this year, South Korea's exports are up more than 20 percent compared to the same period last year.
According to customs data for the first 20 days of January, the country's outbound shipments totaled more than 34 billion U.S. dollars, an on-year increase of 22 percent.
The growth was attributed to strong demand for chips, petroleum products and home appliances.
But exports were outpaced by imports, which rose over 38 percent.
That resulted in a trade deficit for the period of more than 5 billion dollars.