Korea’s July 1-20 exports -12.8% on yr to extend double-digit losing streak for 4th mo

2020.07.21 11:45:02 | 2020.07.21 12:49:41

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South Korea’s exports fell nearly 13 percent in the first 20 days of July from a year-ago period, suggesting that the country’s exports may shrink by double digits for the fourth straight month in July amid lingering coronavirus crisis.

According to data from the Korea Customs Service on Tuesday, Korea’s exports reached $24.6 billion in July 1-20, down 12.8 percent from the same period a year ago.

Korea’s exports fell by double digits since April. In June, outbound shipments plunged 10.9 percent, 23.6 percent in May, and 25.5 percent in April.

Average daily exports fell 7.1 percent when reflecting difference in working days. There was one fewer working day against the same month last year.

The decline was mainly due to sluggish shipments of petrochemical products, automobiles, and semiconductors. Exports of petrochemical products fell 41.6 percent in July 1-20 from the same period last year, automobiles 14 percent, and semiconductors 1.7 percent.

Shipments of vessels, meanwhile, gained 48.1 percent and computer surrounding equipment 56.9 percent.

Demand in key markets stayed subdued.

By country, outbound shipments to the Middle East plunged 40 percent, Japan 21.9 percent, European Union 11.9 percent, Vietnam 9.9 percent, the United States 2.4 percent, and China 0.8 percent during the cited period.

Imports reached $24.8 billion in the first 20 days of July, down 13.7 percent from last year. Imports of crude oil fell 43.9 percent, machinery 5.6 percent, and precise equipment 4.5 percent, while those of semiconductor manufacturing equipment gained 131.6 percent, wireless devices 14.3 percent, and semiconductors 2.2 percent.

Imports from China fell 4.4 percent, European Union 4 percent, the United States 21.2 percent, Japan 11.8 percent, Middle East 34.5 percent, and Vietnam 1 percent.

In the July 1-20 period, Korea’s trade deficit came at $150 million.

By Lee Eun-joo

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