A majority of South Korean exporters expect their business conditions to improve in the third quarter from three months earlier thanks to a global economic recovery, a poll showed Tuesday.
The Korea International Trade Association said its export business survey index of 833 exporting companies reached 116.6 for the July-September period, up from 106 for the current quarter.
It marks the second consecutive quarter that the EBSI has exceeded the benchmark 100 level. A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists, while a reading below the benchmark means the opposite.
According to the findings, makers of semiconductors, daily supplies and machinery predict their business conditions will improve sharply in the coming quarter.
The EBSI came to 148.8 for chipmakers, 126.7 for manufacturers of household items, 117.8 for machinery makers, and 111.9 for producers of agricultural and fisheries goods.
Local chip companies expect third-quarter export conditions to get better on stabilizing memory chip prices and increased demand for smartphone chips. Machinery makers are projected to bask in increased demand from China and Vietnam.
In contrast, the EBSI stood at 80.4 for producers of steel and nonferrous metals as they anticipate growing trade pressure from major importing countries in the third quarter.
The index amounted to 81.6 for home electronics makers, which expect worsening conditions because of expanded overseas production and outsourcing.
The surveyed exporters also predicted their profitability and export prices to worsen in the next quarter, while facing growing import regulations and trade conflicts.
"With the global economy picking up, local exporting companies are upbeat about their business outlook for the third quarter," KITA researcher Kim Kun-woo said. "Yet, they will likely continue to face such risks due to toughening protectionism, falling oil prices and shrinking demand from emerging economies in the wake of a US rate hike last week."
Local exporters' sanguine business outlook comes amid a marked recovery in South Korea's exports. In May, exports soared 13.4 percent on-year on strong overseas demand for chips and other key items, marking the seventh consecutive month of increase. Overseas shipments also rose at a double-digit rate for five months on end. (Yonhap)