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Exports fall 13.4% from March 1-10; chip sales jump over 20%

By Yonhap

Published : March 11, 2024 - 10:16

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This file photo shows a port in South Korea's southeastern city of Busan. (gettyimagesBank) This file photo shows a port in South Korea's southeastern city of Busan. (gettyimagesBank)

South Korea's exports fell more than 13 percent on-year in the first 10 days of March due mainly to fewer working days and weak demand for vehicles, but sales of semiconductors jumped more than 20 percent, data showed Monday.

Outbound shipments reached $13.54 billion in the March 1-10 period, compared with $15.64 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Per-day exports, however, gained 8.2 percent on-year to $2.26 billion.

The number of working days came to six days during the cited period this year, compared with 7 1/2 days a year earlier.

Exports, a key economic growth engine, have been on a solid recovery track since late last year after a yearlong downturn.

In February, exports advanced 4.8 percent on-year to $52.4 billion, the fifth consecutive monthly gain, on the back of strong demand for semiconductors.

Imports lost 28.6 percent on-year to $14.8 billion during the first 10 days of March, resulting in a trade deficit of $1.3 billion.

By item, exports of semiconductors jumped 21.7 percent to $2.75 billion during the March 1-10 period.

Chip sales accounted for 20.3 percent of the country's total exports, up 5.9 percentage points from a year earlier amid an industry cycle upturn.

Exports of vessels spiked 431.4 percent on-year to $829 million.

But car exports shed 33 percent to $1.14 billion, and exports of petroleum products fell 29.3 percent to $1.01 billion. Sales of steel products and auto parts also went down 30.9 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively.

By nation, shipments to China, the No. 1 trading partner, decreased 8.9 percent to $2.89 billion, and those to the United States fell 16.3 percent to $2.35 billion.

Exports to the European Union skidded 14.1 percent to $1.47 billion, and those to Vietnam declined 17.3 percent to $1.26 billion. Shipments to Japan dived 30.4 percent to $525 million.

But exports to Hong Kong surged 60.9 percent to $582 million, and those to Singapore rose 14.7 percent to $551 million, the data showed.

The government expected exports to advance 8.5 percent this year to reach a record high of over $700 billion. (Yonhap)