POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

South Korea export keeps falling month after month

Christian Fernsby |

KEY POINTS
  • Chip export tumbled 32.1 percent on the still low price for memory chips
  • Petrochemical export diminished 22.6 percent due to the protracted global trade spat
  • Oil product shipment retreated in double figures last month, and general machinery export shrank 12.1 percent on weak demand from China

South Korea's export continued to fall for 11 straight months to October amid the lingering external uncertainties such as the global trade feud and the global chip industry's downturn.

Article continues below



Topics: SOUTH KOREA    EXPORT   

Import slipped 14.6 percent from a year earlier to 41.39 billion dollars in October, sending the trade surplus to 5.39 billion dollars
Export, which takes up about half of the export-driven economy, amounted to 46.78 billion U.S. dollars in October, down 14.7 percent from the same month of last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The outbound shipment kept sliding since December last year, continuing a double-digit fall for the fifth consecutive month amid the global economic slump and the global chip industry's downturn.

Import slipped 14.6 percent from a year earlier to 41.39 billion dollars in October, sending the trade surplus to 5.39 billion dollars. The trade balance stayed in the black for 93 straight months.

Chip export tumbled 32.1 percent on the still low price for memory chips and the heavy inventory that offset solid demand for memory chips used for smartphones and computers.

Petrochemical export diminished 22.6 percent due to the protracted global trade spat and the lower crude oil price.

Oil product shipment retreated in double figures last month, and general machinery export shrank 12.1 percent on weak demand from China.

Automotive export reduced 2.3 percent, and auto parts shipment declined 6.3 percent. Steel shipment slipped 11.8 percent, and those for consumer electronics and telecommunication devices, such as smartphone, shed last month.

Ship export jumped 25.7 percent in the month, continuing an upward momentum for the third consecutive month. Computer export rebounded in 11 months in October.

Export to China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, went down 16.9 percent on lower chip price, weak demand for petrochemicals and oil products, and the supply glut of display panels.

Shipment to the United States slipped 8.4 percent, and those to the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) dived 21.2 percent and 8.3 percent each.

The trade ministry said the export was forecast to recover in November citing the chip price recovery and the eased worry about the global trade dispute as well as the expected demand for ships, automobiles and oil products.

The daily average export stayed above 2 billion U.S. dollars for two straight months through October, giving a positive indication to the November export.

Meanwhile, the trade spat between Seoul and Tokyo had a limited impact on the South Korean economy, the trade ministry noted.

South Korea's export to Japan tumbled 13.8 percent in October from a year earlier, while South Korea's import from Japan dropped 23.4 percent.

South Korea recorded a deficit of 1.43 billion dollars in trade with Japan last month, but the ministry said the deficit continued to decline recently.

In July, Japan tightened control over its export to South Korea of three materials vital to producing memory chip and display panel, the mainstay of the South Korean export.

Japan dropped South Korea off its whitelist of trusted trading partners, which are given preferential export procedure, in August. In response, Seoul removed Tokyo from its whitelist of trusted export partners.

Japan's export curbs came in an apparent protest against the South Korean top court's rulings that ordered some of Japanese companies to pay reparation to the South Korean victims who were forced into hard labor without pay during the 1910-45 Japanese colonization of the Korean Peninsula.


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