March exports up 3.1%, chip exports hit 21-month high

2024.04.01 10:49:01 | 2024.04.01 10:49:17

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]이미지 확대

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]

South Korea’s March exports surged by 3.1 percent year-on-year, notably propelled by semiconductor exports hitting a 21-month high of $11.7 billion.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy said on Monday that the nation’s exports totaled $56.56 billion in March 2024, marking a sixth consecutive month of growth since October 2023.

Semiconductor exports, which hit $11.7 billion, continued their upward trajectory for a fifth consecutive month, almost rebounding to 2022 levels when demand in the information and technology sector spiked due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated social distancing measures.

Notably, all four major IT items?semiconductors, displays, computers, and wireless communication devices?saw simultaneous increases for the first time in 24 months since March 2022. Display and computer exports grew by 16.2 percent and 24.5 percent respectively, sustaining growth for eight and three months. Wireless communication device exports reversed a three-month decline, registering a 5.5 percent increase.

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]이미지 확대

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]

Ship exports surged by 102.1 percent in March 202, driven by rising orders for eco-friendly vessels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, extending the positive trend for eight consecutive months.

But automobile exports declined by 5.0 percent year-on-year, attributed to a slight slowdown in electric vehicle sales in both domestic and international markets to record a second consecutive month in negative growth since February 2024.

By export destination, exports to both China and the United States increased year-on-year by 0.4 percent and 11.6 percent respectively, with March exports to the United States hitting a record high of $10.9 billion.

March imports stood at $52.28 billion, down 12.3 percent year-on-year, influenced by the decrease in energy import values following the downward trend in international energy prices?oil by 12.8 percent, gas by 37.4 percent, and coal by 40.5 percent. The March trade balance saw a surplus of $4.28 billion, marking ten consecutive months of surplus since June 2023.

Citing the positive momentum in key exports such as semiconductors and ships, Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun pledged to continue government support, including the swift implementation of trade support measures, including the record trade finance spending of 360 trillion won ($268 billion) and export marketing support totaling 1 trillion won.

By Pulse

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