South Korean exports kept up a fragile gain of 2.0 percent in the first 10 days of June against a year-ago period, led primarily by external demand in semiconductors and petroleum products.
According to Korea Customs Service on Monday, the country’s outbound shipments totaled $12.4 billion in the first 10 days of June, up 2 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The average daily exports surged 19 percent on year to $2.06 billion, as this year’s June had one fewer working day than last year’s.
After running a winning streak for 17 straight months, export growth came to an abrupt halt in April, retreating 1.5 percent. Exports rebounded in May, jumping 13.5 percent on year. The latest data hinted that the country’s exports would extend growth in June.
During the cited period in June, semiconductor shipments rose 28.9 percent on year, petroleum products 43.5 percent, and automobiles 41.4 percent, offsetting the losses of wireless communication devices, which fell 14.7 percent, and ships, which plunged 84.5 percent.
By country, exports to China gained 22.7 percent, the United States 4.8 percent, the European Union 18.1 percent, and Japan 3.0 percent. Exports to Vietnam fell 24.3 percent and Singapore 41.4 percent.
Imports were up 2.4 percent to $14 billion due to a 30.1 percent jump in crude oil imports and a 112.7 percent surge in gas imports on higher international oil prices. The country’s trade deficit amounted to $1.58 billion in the cited period.
The government projects exports to maintain their growth momentum on economic pickups in major markets.
By Yoon Won-sup and Kim Hyo-jin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]