South Korea’s export growth hits 10-year high in April

Written by The Frontier Post

SEOUL (APP): South Korea’s export growth hit the highest in around 10 years, keeping an upward trend for the sixth consecutive month, a government report showed.

Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, amounted to 51.19 billion US dollars in April, up 41.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The outbound shipment continued to expand for six months since November last year, marking the fastest increase in over 10 years since January 2011.

The daily average export, which excludes the working-day effect, advanced 29.4% last month.

Import spiked 33.9 percent from a year ago to 50.8 billion dollars in April, sending the trade surplus to 390 million dollars. The trade balance stayed in black for 12 months in a row.

The export topped 50 billion dollars for two straight months, indicating a global demand recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that roiled the global economy last year.

For the first four months of this year, the outbound shipment reached a record high of 197.7 billion dollars. During the four-month period, the daily average export hit a new high of 2.2 billion dollars.

Among the 15 major export items, 13 shipments went up in double digits in April from a year earlier.

Semiconductor shipment recorded the second-highest April figure of 9.34 billion dollars, surpassing 9 billion dollars for two months.

Petrochemical export achieved the highest April reading of 4.66 billion dollars, keeping a double-digit increase for the third consecutive month.

Automotive shipment amounted to 4.15 billion dollars, exceeding 4 billion dollars for two months and continuing to rise in double figures for the fourth straight month.

Export for new growth products, including system chip, electric vehicle, secondary battery and bio-health products, increased for at least eight months through April.

Shipment to China, South Korea’s biggest trading partner, posted the biggest April number of 13.37 billion dollars, expanding in double digits for four straight months.

Export to the United States logged the third-highest monthly figure of 7.54 billion dollars in April, and shipment to the European Union (EU) topped 50 billion dollars for the first time.

Export to the country’s four major export destinations, including China, the United States, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations surged more than 30 percent in April from a year earlier.

Shipment to Japan and the Middle East marked the first turnaround in four and 13 months respectively, and export to Latin American countries kept growing for six months.

Import of capital goods hit a new monthly high of 8.37 billion dollars in April on solid demand for equipment used to produce semiconductors and display panels.

Intermediary goods import posted the second-highest reading of 24.94 billion dollars, and consumer goods import advanced 25.3 percent to 7.07 billion dollars, indicating a domestic demand recovery.

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