South Korea’s exports ended November with a positive gain of 4 percent against a year-ago period thanks to robust demand for chips, displays and other IT devices.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday, outbound shipments totaled $45.81 billion in November, up 4 percent from the previous year.
Exports had fallen six consecutive months since March amid the virus outbreak. Shipment rebounded 7.3 percent in September but again lost 3.8 percent in October.
Daily exports averaged $1.99 billion last month, also up 6.3 percent on year despite 0.5-day shorter working days.
The last time monthly and daily exports showed all growth was November 2018.
For the past three months, outbound shipments were above $40 billion with daily exports of over $1.9 billion, to suggest a recovery momentum on external trade front, said the ministry.
The growth was mainly driven by the robust demand for mainstay export items such as chips, displays and other IT devices.
Semiconductor exports soared 16.4 percent on year, displays 21.4 percent, wireless communications devices 20.2 percent, secondary batteries 19.9 percent, white goods 20.3 percent, and computers 5.6 percent. But deliveries of another major export item petroleum products shriveled 50.6 percent amid low oil prices.
By country, exports to the United Station added 6.8 percent over the same period, the European Union 24.6 percent, China 1.0 percent and Asia 6.4 percent. Shipments to Japan, however, slid 12 percent.
Imports totaled $39.88 billion in November, down 2.1 percent on year to deliver a trade surplus of $5.93 billion. Cumulative trade surplus from January to November amounted to $39 billion, already surpassing the full-year record of last year.
“It is a significant increase, considering the shorter working days, compared to a year ago. The increase in IT devices shipments also shows us a positive sign of a future export recovery,” said Sung Yun-mo, the trade minister.
By Lee Ha-yeon
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