China’s trade retaliation deals harsh blow to Korean exports of car parts and LCDs

2017.10.23 14:28:06 | 2017.10.23 14:28:44

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Liquid crystal displays, automobile and smartphone components were most hard-hit by Chinese economic retaliatory actions on the Korean Inc. as the result of Seoul’s decision to install U.S. antimissile shield in Korea, a report showed Sunday.

According to the Bank of Korea report obtained by Rep. Park Young-sun of the ruling Democratic Party, Korea’s display and auto part industries saw their exports to China fall sharply amid trade retaliatory action over the last year. Overall Korean exports to China however were mitigated by the 74-percent jump in semiconductor exports.

Shipments of automobile parts tumbled 57.7 percent as of July against a year-ago period in line with plummeting sales of Korean cars in China as they are finished off at the manufacturing lines there. Exports of smartphone parts also plunged 32.7 percent as Korean brands lost grounds to Chinese names. LCD displays’ shipment fell 24.7 percent amid increased capacity by Chinese and Taiwanese players.

Exports of chemicals gained 9.3 percent and those of steel and metals fell 5.0 percent.

Korean industries are worried that China would naturally reduce its dependence on Korean products if China finds alternatives to Korean goods or it adopts a direction to increase its self-sufficiency amid the ongoing diplomatic spat.

The report found Korean products in China lost a relatively large market share in the second quarter especially in the areas of car parts, steel, chemicals, LCD and cell phones. For displays, China is increasing imports of some low-end LCDs from Taiwan.

Korean LCD products took up 35.8 percent of the Chinese market last year, higher than Taiwan (30.6 percent) and Japan (13.6 percent), but Korea lost its leading position to Taiwan in the second quarter with 29.7 percent vs. 33.8 percent.

By Chung Seok-hwan and Minu Kim

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