Refined petroleum products led South Korea's exports in the first half of this year thanks to higher prices, accounting for 9.9% of all outbound shipments, a report showed Thursday. The report by the Korea Petroleum Association (KPA) said exports of petroleum products totaled US$27.28 billion in the January-June period, up, 11.5% from a year earlier, South Korea's news agency (Yonhap) reported. "The gain is mainly due to a steep rise in crude oil prices that also marked up refined product costs," the association said. The average price of Dubai crude, which makes up the bulk of South Korea's imports, stood at $126.2 per barrel in the January-June period, a gain of 7.1% from $117.8 from the year before. The KPA said 85.9% of all exports were high value-added products such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel and naphtha. China was the largest market for South Korean refined petroleum products followed by Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. Exports to China made up 26.9% of the total, with shipments to Japan and Singapore accounting for 14.7% and 14.5%, respectively. Asian markets accounted for 85.9% of all exports. According to the report, ships and cars accounted for 9.3% and 9.1% of all overseas shipments in the first half, followed by semiconductors and general machinery at 8.8% each. Exports of autos reached $25.01 billion, up 15.7% from a year earlier, while numbers for semiconductors contracted 1.6% to $24.36 billion. In the first half of this year, South Korea's exports edged up 0.7% on-year- to $275.38 billion with imports rising 2.5% to $264.64 billion.