South Korea’s exports has been in upturn for the last 17 months but the growth pace slowed to a single digit again in March, adding to worries about the country’s trade outlook amid growing trade protectionism in the U.S. and China.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Sunday, the nation’s exports in March gained 6.1 percent on year to $51.58 billion, increasing by single digit against year-ago number. Daily shipments remained robust, up 8.3 percent on year to average $2.2 billion, the highest-ever for March.
Seven out of the country’s 13 mainstay exports items were up from a year ago. Shipment of semiconductor and computer increased by double digits against year-ago numbers.
Semiconductor exports soared 44.2 percent on year to a record monthly high of $10.8 billion thanks to robust demand for multichip package and solid state drive. It is the first for a single export item to achieve the $10 billion milestone. Shipments of computer expanded 62.5 percent to $1.06 billion, while those of general machinery jumped 6.1 percent to $4.73 billion.
Steel exports also rose 6.3 percent to $2.77 billion thanks to the price hike.
Exports to the European Union surged 24.2 percent on year, and exports to China up 16.6 percent. Shipment to Japan rose 9.7 percent.
Shipments to the United States, Vietnam, Latin America, India and the Middle East fell due to uncertainties from the revised trade pact and fiercer competitions.
Import expanded 5.0 percent on year to $44.7 billion to deliver a trade surplus of $6.86 billion and extend the surplus streak to 74th straight month.
By Ko Jae-man and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]