South Korea posted a record auto trade surplus of $US14.6 billion with foreign countries last year, the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Despite the gloom surrounding ailing Daewoo Motor, South Korea exported vehicles worth $US16.9 billion dollars in 2000 and imported foreign cars worth $US2.3 billion.

Vehicle export profits reached $US12.9 billion in 1999.

Of the $US14.6 billion surplus, the trade in completed automobiles accounted for $US12.9 billion, followed by trucks worth $US710 million.

Car exports to the United States were worth $US5.9 billion dollars last year while U.S. cars imports amounted to $US350 million.

South Korea recorded a surplus of $US210 million dollars from exports to European Union countries but registered a deficit of $US630 million with Japan in car trade.

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