S. Korea’s exports down 9.6 pct in first 20 days of November

November 21, 2019

South Korea’s exports fell 9.6 percent in the first 20 days of November mainly due to decreased shipments of semiconductors and ships, customs data showed Thursday.

The country’s exports stood at US$28.2 billion in the Nov. 1-20 period, compared with $31.2 billion in the same period last year, according to the Korea Customs Service.

The average daily exports — which reflect working days — also declined 9.6 percent on-year to $1.82 billion.

By product, exports of semiconductors and ships fell 23.6 percent and 65.3 percent, respectively. Outbound shipments of passenger cars and household appliances rose 7.1 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively, according to the data.

Decreased shipments of chips dealt a blow to South Korea, where semiconductors account for nearly one-fifth of exports.

South Korea — home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chipmaker, and its smaller rival SK hynix Inc. — accounted for more than 60 percent of the global memory market in 2018.

By destination, South Korea’s exports to the United States and the Middle East rose 0.5 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s shipments to China — South Korea’s largest trading partner — and the European Union fell 8.1 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively.

South Korea imported goods worth $27.6 billion in the 20-day period, down 11.2 percent from a year earlier.