South Korea’s export volume kept up growth, although feebly in March with the help of primary semiconductors, data released by the Bank of Korea (BOK) showed on Wednesday.
According to trade indexes and terms of trade indexes data released by the central bank, Korea’s export volume index increased by 3.4 percent on year to 155.80 in March. The figure uses 100 in 2010 as the base.
An unnamed BOK official said that the country’s overall export growth trend continued despite a drop in overall working days by 0.5 this year in March from last year.
By item, export volume of electric and electronic devices that include semiconductors increased by 17.6 percent year-on-year in March, general machinery by 5.9 percent, and precision equipment by 3.9 percent. Chips remained main driver, with export volume of integrated circuits jumping by 24.6 percent and solid state drives by 93.4 percent.
Export volume of transport equipment dropped by 10.7 percent during the cited period amid sluggish performance of Korean car brands.
Auto exports to the United States fell almost 24 percent in March from a year ago, which led to an overall decrease trend in vehicle exports to North America.
Korea’s export value index added 8.5 percent on-year to 141.56 in March, mainly led by rising demand for electric and electronic devices including semiconductors and chemical goods including medicines and cosmetics.
The country’s import volume index decreased by 2.0 percent year-on-year to 136.41 in March, marking the first fall after October, 2016.
Imports of primary metal products dropped 18.9 percent last month from a year ago as companies replaced steel imported from China with domestic ones amid a rise in steel prices in China following enhanced environmental regulation.
By Kim In-oh and Lee Eun-joo
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