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Venture firms' exports drop on global slump

All News 09:06 June 07, 2016

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) - Exports by South Korean venture companies fell this year for the first time in three years, stung by the continued sluggishness of the global economy, data showed Tuesday.

Overseas shipments by local startups came to US$5.23 billion in the January-April period, down 6.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the data by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

The drop is lower than a 12.8 percent plunge in South Korea's overall overseas shipments during the four-month period, but it sparked concerns that the world economy's sustained slump is finally taking its toll on the local venture industry that has been faring relatively well over the past two years.

Venture firms' exports soared 50.7 percent on-year in 2010 with the growth rate tumbling to 1.1 percent a year later. Overseas shipments dropped 7.5 percent and 5.9 percent in 2012 and 2013 each before rebounding to a 9.5 percent gain in 2014. Last year, exports climbed 2.5 percent from the previous year.

By product, overseas shipments of electric equipment and parts, local venture firms' top export item, edged up 1 percent on-year to $1.52 billion in the first four months of this year.

But exports of boilers for nuclear reactors and machinery sank 8.5 percent on-year to $1.25 billion, with that of optical, measurement and medical equipment plunging 17.3 percent to $666 million.

Shipments to major export destinations all fell sharply. Exports to China fell 8 percent on-year to $1.33 billion. Shipments to the United States dropped 4.7 percent to $694 million, and exports to Vietnam dipped 12.5 percent to $526 million, according to the KITA data.

In 2015, venture firms' exports accounted for 3 percent of South Korea's total overseas shipments worth $527.2 billion.

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