Korea’s trade deficit nears $40 bn as exports fall in double digits Nov

2022.11.21 12:55:01 | 2022.11.21 12:56:02

Sinseondae in Busan이미지 확대

Sinseondae in Busan

South Korea’s trade deficit has neared $40 billion so far this month as exports fell by double digits amid widening slump in chip shipments and worsening demand from China.

According to data released by Korea Customs Service on Monday, the country’s exports tumbled 16.7 percent on year to $33.16 billion in the first 20 days of November. Average daily export also fell 11.3 percent on year based on 15.5 working days, 1 day shorter than a year ago.

Exports had declined 5.7 percent in October, the first contraction in two years since October 2020.

Chip shipments plunged 29.4 percent on year to extend losses for the fourth month in a row.

Other mainstay exports were rattled by weakened global demand,

Outbound shipments of steel products fell 18.8 percent, wireless communications devices 20.6 percent, and vessels 71.4 percent.

Exports of automobiles, on the other hand, gained 28.6 percent in the first 20 days of November from a year-ago period, and petrochemical products 16.1 percent.

Exports to China, Korea’s largest market, fell 28.3 percent. Shipments to China had declined for the fifth straight month in October, the first phenomenon since normalization of ties. Deficit in trade with China amounted to $760 million so far this month.

Exports to European Union fell 1.5 percent, Vietnam 14.4 percent, Japan 17.9 percent, and Taiwan 23.5 percent.

Exports to the United States gained 11 percent.

Imports fell 5.5 percent on year to $37.58 billion in the first 20 days of November. Average daily import rose 0.6 percent.

Inbound shipments of crude oil rose 19.1 percent, gas 21.2 percent, automobiles 91.4 percent, and coal 2.2 percent, while those of chips fell 12.4 percent, petrochemical products 25.2 percent, and chip manufacturing equipment 20.8 percent.

The combined imports of three energy sources - crude oil ($5.5 billion), gas ($3.03 billion), and coal ($1.3 billion) - reached $9.86 billion, which is up 17.1 percent from $8.4 billion in the same period a year ago.

Imports from EU rose 9.5 percent, Saudi Arabia 10.9 percent, and Malaysia 48.9 percent, while those from China fell 12.1 percent, U.S. 5.5 percent, Japan 15.3 percent, and Australia 13.3 percent.

Korea’s trade balance logged a deficit of $4.4 billion in the first 20 days of November, compared with a surplus of $30 million during the same period last year.

Korea has been running a deficit from trade from April to October, the longest loss streak in 25 years. The red was $2.4 billion in April, $1.5 billion in May, $2.46 billion in June, $5.09 billion in July, $9.4 billion in August, $3.8 billion in September, and $6.7 billion in October, putting the cumulative loss at $39.97 billion, overwhelming last annual deficit record of $20.6 billion in 1996.

By Lee Eun-joo

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]