Even into August, South Korean exports continued to slump. However, the slowdown in exports is bottoming out in some areas, such as the rate of decline in semiconductor exports slowing.
According to the Korea Customs Service, on August 11th, the export value (provisional value based on customs clearance) from August 1 to 10 was 13.22 billion dollars, a decrease of 15.3% from the same period last year. Announced. The import value for the same period was 16.23 billion dollars, down 30.5% from the previous year. Also, the balance of trade, which is the value of exports minus the value of imports, was a deficit of $3.01 billion.
Exports have been sluggish for more than 10 months. South Korea's exports turned downward on a year-on-year basis in October last year, and have continued to decline for 10 consecutive months until last month. If this month also decreases on a monthly basis, it will be the 11th consecutive month.
The main reason is that demand for semiconductors, the largest export item, has fallen due to the impact of the global economic slowdown centered on China. Due to the decline in demand for semiconductors, the price has been halved in one year. The export value of semiconductors fell 18.1% from the previous year to $2.45 billion from the 1st to the 10th.
Exports of petroleum products such as gasoline and light oil are also declining due to the drop in international crude oil prices from last year. In the past 10 days, exports fell 37.8% from last year to $1.377 billion. Although exports of passenger cars (up 27.2%) and ships (up 182.8%) increased year-on-year, they did well, but it was not strong enough to make up for the overall slump in exports.
Exports to China also continued to be sluggish, down 25.9% year-on-year to $2.878 billion. Exports to major countries other than Vietnam, such as the United States, the European Union (EU), and Japan, also declined.
On the other hand, it appeared that the slump in exports was bottoming out. The year-on-year rate of decline in semiconductor exports reached 34% until July but has fallen to the 10% range in August. Direct exports to China are still down by more than 20%, while exports to Hong Kong increased by 75.9% over the previous year. Since most of the exports to Hong Kong are consumed in China via Hong Kong, it is analyzed that exports to China are showing signs of recovery.
Affected by sluggish exports, the trade balance continued to be in the red until the beginning of this month. However, the trade balance usually improves toward the end of the month, so it is possible that August will turn into a surplus. South Korea posted a deficit for 15 consecutive months from March of last year to May of this year due to the sharp rise in oil, gas and coal prices caused by the global energy crisis, but it returned to the black from June to July.
Even in August, imports of crude oil, gas, and coal fell to half the level of the same period last year. The value of crude oil imports over the past 10 days decreased by 45.9% compared to the previous year. Gas and coal imports also fell by 57.1% and 46.4% respectively.
Published : 2023/08/12 12:41 KST
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