South Korea’s exports in the first 10 days of May surged nearly 30 percent from the same period last year, but trade deficit widened as imports led by jump in commodity prices gained by a faster clip to flag an extended deficit streak in monthly trade balance.
According to data released by the Korea Customs Service on Wednesday, the country’s exports totaled $16.05 billion in the May 1-10 period, gaining 28.7 percent from a year-ago period.
Daily exports averaged $2.47 billion, up 8.9 percent from a year earlier based on 1-day longer working days from a year ago.
The gain in exports in the first 10 days of May was mainly driven by the robust demand for mainstay export items such as chips, petroleum products and automotive components.
Korea’s semiconductor exports rose 10.8 percent on year, petroleum products 256.3 percent and automotive components 13.8 percent. But deliveries of another major export item automobiles shriveled 20.6 percent, and wireless communications devices down 27.2 percent.
By country, exports to the United States added 30.1 percent over the same period, the European Union 27.1 percent, China 9.6 percent, Vietnam 30.0 percent and Taiwan 106.2 percent. Shipments to Hong Kong, however, slid 35.4 percent.
Imports in the first 10 days of May soared 34.7 percent on year to $19.78 billion, delivering a trade deficit of $3.72 billion.
South Korea has incurred deficit in its trade account since December, except for February, with the red widened to near $3 billion in April.
Imports of crude leaped 53.7 percent on year, semiconductors 26.3 percent, petroleum products 46.8 percent, gas 52.7 percent, machinery 16.2 percent, and automobiles 6.1 percent.
Inbound shipments from China expanded 45.0 percent, the European Union 22.0 percent, Saudi Arabia 101.7 percent, Japan 7.3 percent, and Australia 34.5 percent. Those from the United States however declined 1.0 percent.
By Lee Ha-yeon
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