The Korea Herald


S. Korea's exports increase for two consecutive months on chip sales recovery

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Dec. 1, 2023 - 15:52

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The southeastern port of Busan, South Korea's main maritime gateway (Yonhap) The southeastern port of Busan, South Korea's main maritime gateway (Yonhap)

South Korea's exports rose for the second consecutive month in November as semiconductor shipments rebounded, government data showed Friday.

According to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, South Korea’s exports rose 7.8 percent on-year to $55.8 billion in November. The country’s exports in November are currently the highest this year, surpassing the figure in October when the country’s exports saw a 13-month downturn and increased by 5.1 percent on-year to reach $55.1 billion.

“The country’s exports have shown a more solid upward momentum in November,” Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu said.

South Korea’s exports were able to increase for the second consecutive month amid a global economic slowdown, mainly as semiconductor exports rebounded for the first time in 16 months, the ministry said.

In November, exports of semiconductors jumped 12.9 percent on-year to $9.5 billion, ending the downward trend that continued for more than a year, according to the ministry.

Korea’s other export items have recovered and contributed to the upward trend in November.

Shipments of petrochemicals rose 5.9 percent on-year, ending an 18-month losing run. Exports of bio-health products also ended a 17-month losing streak and went up 18.8 percent on-year. Exports of secondary batteries jumped by 23.4 percent on-year as well, the first increase in eight months.

Exports of cars continued 17 straight monthly gains with a 21.5 percent on-year increase in November. Outbound shipments of machinery and home appliances also went up 14.1 percent each, continuing their respective 8-month and 6-month winning streaks.

Exports of ships and display products also continued to advance for the fourth consecutive month in November, growing by 38.5 percent and 5.9 percent on-year, respectively.

By country, South Korea’s exports to China decreased by 0.2 percent on-year but still came to $11.4 billion in November, the highest this year. The country’s exports to the US, on the other hand, reached $10.9 billion in the same month, reporting on-year growths for four straight months.

Meanwhile, the country’s imports in November fell 11.6 percent on-year to $52 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $3.8 billion. Energy imports declined by 22.2 percent, contributing the most to the decline, according to government data.

The $ 3.8 billion trade surplus is the largest one since September 2021, when the country’s trade surplus came to $4.28 billion.

“The government will extend all-out efforts so that the upturn in exports continues through next year and leads the growth of our economy,” Bang said.