South Korea’s exports entered a positive momentum in the New Year, raising hopes that external trade demand could finally snap out of a losing streak that stretched more than a year.
The country’s exports from January 1 to 10 totaled $13.3 billion, up 5.3 percent from the same period last year, according to data released by the Korea Customs Service on Monday. Daily exports rose 5.3 percent on year based on 7.5 working days, same as a year earlier.
Exports of memory chips and petroleum products jumped 11.5 percent and 30.6 percent, respectively, on year during the Jan. 1-10 period. But outbound shipments of automobiles fell 4.6 percent, auto parts 9.6 percent, and wireless communication devices 4.8 percent.
By country, shipments to Vietnam gained 11.7 percent, Japan 6.0 percent, Hong Kong 26.5 percent, and the Middle East 45.3 percent, while exports to China sank 3.5 percent, the United States 12.0 percent and the European Union 5.9 percent.
Imports in the first 10 days of January came at $15.4 billion, up 5.7 percent from a year earlier, to deliver a trade deficit of $2.1 billion.
Crude oil imports leaped 40.7 percent on year and petroleum products 73.0 percent. Inbound shipments of machinery contracted 2.5 percent, coal 36.5 percent, and automobiles 32.1 percent.
Imports from the Middle East expanded 30.1 percent, the U.S. 26.1 percent, Australia 9.2 percent and Vietnam 7.3 percent. Deliveries from China decreased 1.1 percent, the EU 3.8 percent, and Japan 18.7 percent.
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