South Korea’s exports in the first 20 days of January jumped 10.6 percent from the same period a year ago thanks to strong demand for semiconductors and automobiles, suggesting a solid rebound in double digits for the second month.
[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]
According to data released by Korea Customs Service on Thursday, the country’s outbound shipments totaled $28.2 billion in the Jan. 1-20 period, up 10.6 percent from the same period last year. Daily exports averaged $1.95 billion, also gaining 10.6 percent from a year earlier based on the same number of working days from a year ago.
Korean exports had been suffering falls in double digits from March to August.
Exports fell 3.6 percent on year in October after a brief rebound in September but gained 4 percent in November and 12.6 percent in December.
The surge in exports in the first 20 days of January was mainly driven by robust demand for the country’s mainstay export items such as semiconductors, automobiles, and wireless communications devices.
Korea’s chip exports jumped 11.6 percent on year in the Jan. 1-20 period, automobiles 15.7 percent, and wireless communications devices 60.5 percent. Shipments of petroleum products, however, fell 45.6 percent, and personal computer accessories 1.1 percent, data showed.
By country, exports to China and the United States soared by the largest 18.6 percent, respectively, during the cited period, followed by Vietnam (13.4 percent), and the European Union (16 percent). Exports to Japan, meanwhile, fell 10.9 percent and to the Middle East 15.1 percent.
Imports in the first 20 days of January added 1.5 percent on year to $28.6 billion, leading to a trade deficit of $368 million.
Semiconductor imports gained 22.5 percent, wireless communications devices 20.5 percent, and machinery 6.2 percent.
Inbound shipments from Japan surged 29.9 percent, China 8.1 percent, and the European Union 6.6 percent.
By Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]