South Korea’s exports jumped 7.7 percent on year – the biggest rise in nearly two years – in September, ending the losing streak for the past six months despite the protracted COVID-19 impact.
According to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, the country’s exports totaled $48.05 billion in September, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.
Exports had fallen for six consecutive months since March, but the falling rate slowed from the double-digit declines to 7.1 percent in July and 10.1 percent in August.
Daily exports averaged $2.09 billion, losing 4 percent from the previous year but marking the largest since the virus outbreak, the ministry said.
Ten out of 15 mainstay export items saw a rise in exports on year.
Exports of semiconductors gained 11.8 percent, general machinery 0.8 percent, automobiles 23.2 percent, home appliances 30.2 percent, secondary batteries 21.1 percent, bio/health goods 79.3 percent, computers 66.8 percent, auto parts 9.4 percent, and steel 1.8 percent.
Shipments to China added 8.2 percent, the United States 23.2 percent, the European Union 15.4 percent, and ASEAN countries 4.3 percent.
Imports in September were also up 1.1 percent on year at $39.17 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $8.88 billion. The September figure marked the fifth straight month of surplus and the biggest in two years.
Korea fared much better compared to the times of previous crisis, according to a ministry official. “The rise in exports last month against the protracted virus pandemic crisis poses a relief to the country’s economy,” said Sung Yun-mo, the trade minister.
By Jin Young-tae and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]