South Korea’s exports last month increased by four per cent year-on-year to reach $45.8 billion, rebounding from a 3.8 per cent decrease logged in the previous month, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on December 1.
The country’s average daily exports in November also marked a 6.3 per cent rise year-on-year, the ministry said.
It is the first time since November 2018 that the country posted increases in both monthly and daily exports.
The country’s exports from March to August posted year-on-year decreases due to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The exports bounced back in September with a 7.3 per cent increase, only to fall again in October by 3.8 per cent year-on-year.
The trade ministry said the country’s exports have surpassed the $40 billion bar for the third consecutive month. The ministry expected the upward momentum to continue down the road.
The latest rebound in exports was largely due to robust overseas sales of information technology (IT) products, according to the ministry.
Exports of chips went up by 16.4 per cent year-on-year to $8.5 billion, increasing for the fifth consecutive month. Memory chips accounted for some 19 per cent of the country‘s monthly exports last month.
The increase was attributable to strong demand in laptop computers and new mobile devices, the ministry explained.
The cumulative exports of chips as of last month reached $27.2 billion, surpassing the record high for annual exports in 2018.
Outbound shipments of other IT products marked high increases, with displays increasing by 21.4 per cent year-on-year to $1.9 billion. Exports of mobile devices jumped 20.2 per cent to $1.4 billion as well.
Exports of automobiles continued to advance for the third consecutive month to $3.9 billion, backed by strong demand for sport utility vehicles and eco-friendly models.
Exports of petroleum products, however, fell by 50.6 per cent year-on-year to $1.6 billion. It marked the third consecutive month for petroleum products to post a decrease of more than 40 per cent.
South Korea’s exports of biohealth products soared by 78.5 per cent year-on-year to $1.4 billion, backed by robust sales of Covid-19 test kits.
By destination, South Korea’s exports to its four major trading destinations all increased last month.
Outbound shipments to China climbed one per cent year-on-year, while those to the US rose by 6.8 per cent. Those to Europe and other Asian countries jumped by 24.6 per cent and 6.4 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s imports fell 2.1 per cent year-on-year to $39.8 billion last month, resulting in a trade surplus of $5.93 billion. The country secured a seventh consecutive monthly trade surplus.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK