South Korean exports in the first 10 days of September slipped 0.2 percent from a year earlier, but average daily exports were down 11.9 percent to suggest outbound shipments could extend their double-digit losing streak.
Exports totaled $15 billion in the Sept. 1-10 period, down $30 million from the same period a year ago, Korea Customs Service said Friday.
The pace of decline eased from the previous months. Exports in July and August had contracted 7.1 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively, while shipments from April to June tumbled by double digits.
Daily average exports slipped 11.9 percent during the first 10 days. There were 8.5 working days in the cited period, a day more compared with last year.
Shipments of telecommunication devices fell 14.9 percent, petrochemical products 47.0 percent and auto parts 7.9 percent. Demand for semiconductors, Korea’ leading export item, remained strong, with exports up 43.2 percent. High-precision devices gained 14.2 percent and automobiles 8.4 percent.
Exports to Japan plunged 21.1 percent and the Middle East 22.4 percent. Shipments bound for the European Union slipped 0.8 percent. Shipments to China, Korea’s largest trading partner, rose 9.7 percent. Those to its No. 2 trading country, the United States, climbed 5.2 percent and Vietnam 7.2 percent.
Imports in the first 10 days of September fell 7.6 percent on year to $1.08 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $1.91 billion.
Imports of chips jumped 12.8 percent, machinery 5.1 percent and high-precision machinery 7.8 percent. Imports fell 11.9 percent for crude oil, 41.7 percent for gas and 22.2 percent for wireless communication devices.
Imports from China edged up 0.6 percent and Europe 4.3 percent, while those from the U.S. dipped 14.9 percent, Japan 15.6 percent, Middle East 37.1 percent and Vietnam 16.1 percent.
By Kim Hyo-jin
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