South Korea’s exports climbed for the eighth consecutive month in June to record the second largest-ever led by unfazed force in semiconductors and rejuvenated demand in ships.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Sunday, Korea’s exports last month surged 13.7 percent on year to $51.4 billion, close to the all-time high of $51.6 billion in October 2014 in the longest growth streak since December 2011.
Exports of semiconductors soared 52 percent against the year-ago period and ships 43.2 percent. Outbound shipments in petrochemicals jumped 15.6 percent on year, machinery 14.3 percent and display panels 10 percent.
Major losers were wireless devices whose growth plunged 35.9 percent, home appliances 25.7 percent and automotive parts 12.6 percent.
Exports in the first half gained 15.8 percent on year to $279.4 billion to deliver the best six-month record since the second half of 2014.
Imports rose 18 percent on year to $40 billion in June, generating a trade surplus of $11.4 billion.
Based on the more-than-expected strength in overseas demand, the trade ministry upped the estimate for this year’s exports growth from 2.8 percent to 6-7 percent in April and again to 10 percent.
Exports are now estimated to reach $545 billion and imports $463 billion, up 14 percent.
Trade value for full 2017 could top $1 trillion for the first time in three years.
Although exports would likely maintain growth, the pace is expected to slow in the latter half compared to the first half due to reduced working days, softening in oil prices, and decreased demand in ships, the ministry said.
By Ko Jae-man
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]