South Korean exports in June dipped 10.9 percent from a year ago, falling for the fourth straight month but at a slower pace as global business activity started to resume amid easing of coronavirus lockdowns.
[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]
Outbound shipments in June totaled $39.21 billion, down 10.9 percent from the same month a year earlier, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Wednesday.
The pace of decline was slowed from the 25.1 percent decline in April and 23.7 percent drop in May. But average daily exports tumbled 18.5 percent, similar to the 18.4 percent fall in the previous month.
Korea’s export items all struggled as its major trading partners continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, dampening global demand.
The auto sector was hit the hardest, with shipments of autos plunging 33.2 percent and auto parts 45 percent. Textile exports were down 22.3 percent.
Imports in June were also down 11.4 percent on year at $35.55 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $3.67 billion.
Imports of capital goods related to investment and production rose 27.4 percent, up for five months in a row to raise cautious hopes for an economic recovery.
Exports to China gained 9.5 percent in June, returning to pre-pandemic levels. Shipments to other major markets continued to shrink but at a slower pace compared with the previous two months. Exports to the U.S. were down 8.3 percent, Europe 17.0 percent and Southeast Asia 10.8 percent.
The trade ministry said Korea was faring better than other developed economies, citing World Trade Organization data that showed the country’s exports ranking in the first four months of the year had moved one notch higher to sixth versus last year.
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