Korea’s exports down 0.2 pct in first 20 days of January

January 21, 2020

 South Korea’s exports fell 0.2 percent in the first 20 days of January, marking the lowest rate of decline in a year, as outbound shipments of semiconductors rebounded, data showed Tuesday.

The country’s exports stood at US$25.7 billion in the January 1-20 period, down $40 million from the same period last year, according to the Korea Customs Service.

The rate of decline was also much less than the 2 percent fall in the December 1-20 period last year, the data showed.

By product, exports of semiconductors and petrochemical goods gained 8.7 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively.

(2nd LD) Korea's exports down 0.2 pct in first 20 days of January - 1

In contrast, outbound shipments of passenger cars and wireless equipment fell 6.8 percent and 6.2 percent, according to the data.

Exports to Vietnam and Japan rose 6.7 percent and 5.6 percent during the January 1-20 period, respectively.

Exports to China and the United States, however, fell 4.7 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

South Korea’s imports gained 3 percent on year to $28.1 billion during the January 1-20 period.

South Korea’s economy is expected to have suffered its weakest annual growth in a decade last year, hit by a lengthy U.S.-China trade war and a cyclical slump in the memory chip sector.

For December last year, monthly exports slipped 5.2 percent on-year to $45.7 billion to extend their slump to a whopping 13th consecutive month. However, this year’s outbound shipments are forecast to rise 3 percent.

South Korea’s exports fell 10.3 percent on-year in 2019 to $542.4 billion, according to government data.