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Over 7 in 10 S. Korean exporters eye more shipments in 2021: poll

Stacks of cargo containers at South Korea's largest seaport of Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)
Stacks of cargo containers at South Korea's largest seaport of Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)
More than seven in 10 South Korean exporting companies expect their overseas shipments to increase in 2021 from this year, a poll showed Tuesday.

The survey of 801 exporters, taken by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), showed 71.3 percent of the respondents anticipating an increase in their exports next year.

The poll did not give reasons for their expectations for a hike in overseas shipments in the coming year.

Exports of petroleum products are projected to climb 6 percent on-year in 2021, with those of chips and iron and nonferrous metals likely to gain 3.2 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

In contrast, overseas shipments of textiles, clothing and leather goods are forecast to decline 1.9 percent in 2021 from this year, and shipbuilders expect a 2.4 percent on-year fall.

The findings also showed nearly 43 percent of the pollees predicting the coronavirus pandemic to have the biggest impact on their management in the coming year.

Another 27 percent cited increased volatility of the won-dollar exchange rate as the biggest hurdle to their performances.

Despite an expected rise in exports, those exporting companies feared volatile foreign exchange rates could erode their profitability in the new year.

About 61 percent of small and mid-size exporting companies said that they do not manage foreign exchange risk, with the comparable figure coming to around 9 percent for large exporters.

"There is a need to raise exporters' awareness of foreign exchange risk management as the won's strength against the greenback could last for a while amid rising hopes for a US stimulus package and reduced uncertainty of the global market," Kang Seong-eun, a KITA researcher, said. (Yonhap)
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