South Korea’s exports in the first 20 days of September were 23 percent higher from the same period a year ago, although easing from around 40 percent growth for the past four months.
According to the data released by Korea Customs Service on Thursday, the country’s outbound shipments totaled $36.1 billion from Sept. 1 to 20, up 22.9 percent year over year. The growth pace eased from 41 percent during the same period in August. Still, average daily shipments gained 31.3 percent based on 14.5 working days, one day shorter from a year earlier.
Korea’s exports have been on a recovery note extending its gain since November last year.
The gain in the first 20 days of September was mainly driven by the solid demand for the country’s mainstay export items including semiconductors and automobiles, which rose 7.7 percent and 9.4 percent on year, respectively. Exports of petroleum products also soared 95 percent on year.
Outbound shipments of steel gained 48.8 percent, wireless telecommunications devices 19.6 percent and automobile components 13.1 percent.
Vessel deliveries, however, were off 54.1 percent on year.
By country, exports to Taiwan jumped 52.6 percent, the European Union 34.2 percent, Japan 33.6 percent, the United States 24.9 percent, China 19.7 percent and Vietnam 8.2 percent.
Imports in the first 20 days of September expanded 38.8 percent against a year ago to $35 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $1.1 billion, data showed.
Crude oil imports surged 85.3 percent, semiconductors 15.8 percent, petroleum products 241.8 percent, gas 170.3 percent, coal 123.5 percent, and semiconductor manufacturing equipment 100.8 percent. Imports of wireless telecommunications devices and automobiles, meanwhile, fell 1.7 percent and 19.2 percent, respectively.
Inbound shipments from Russia climbed 200 percent, Australia 128.4 percent, Saudi Arabia 75.2 percent, the United States 27.5 percent, Japan 27.3 percent, China 25 percent, Taiwan 20.6 percent and the European Union 18.8 percent.
By Lee Soo-min
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