South Korea’s exports in June decreased by 10.9 percent at $39.2 billion, as against $44 billion in the same month last year, latest data released Wednesday showed.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, exports have been on a downward trend for four consecutive months, struggling amid the global economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The average daily exports decreased by 18.5 percent on-year -- the figure was minus 18.3 percent in May.
However, the pace of decline slowed compared to the previous three months, when the nation’s exports posted around 20 percent on-year drops. In May, the nation’s outbound shipments dropped by 23.6 percent.
Shipments of some products that suffered major drops in May -- such as automobiles and petrochemical products -- recovered, although they are still below last year’s figures.
Daily average exports of automobiles reached $106 million, up from $84 million in May. That of petroleum products recovered to $67 million from $52 million, and petrochemical products rose to $117 million from $111 million.
The exports of semiconductor products -- a key export item for Korea accounted for around 21 percent of total shipments -- at $8.3 billion, maintaining the same level as last year.
Exports of computer products continued to rise in June, up 91.5 percent on-year, backed by the increasing number of hours people have spent at home. Shipments of bio-health products also went up by 53 percent, following a 59 percent increase in the previous month.
Korea’s exports to major trading nations also posted a relatively better performance compared to the previous months.
Exports to China increased by 9.5 percent, compared to declines of 2.4 percent and 18.2 percent in the preceding two months.
Shipments to the US fell by 8.3 percent, escaping from the dramatic 29.2 percent plunge in May. Exports to the neighboring Asian nations recorded a 10.8 percent decrease, from 30 percent decline in the previous month.
“It is meaningful that some of the exports figures have improved compared to the previous two months when they fell by more than 20 percent,” said Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo.
Meanwhile, Korea saw a trade surplus for the second consecutive month, reaching $3.6 billion, up from $0.4 billion, as imports posted $35.5 billion, down by 11.4 percent on-year, the ministry said.
By Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org