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S. Korea's exports likely to rise for 8th straight month in June

All News 16:53 June 16, 2017

SEOUL, June 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports are likely to rise for an eighth consecutive month in June helped by brisk global demand for South Korea's key export items like semiconductors, displays, and petrochemical products, an official said Friday.

Deputy Trade Minister Lee In-ho made the forecast for June during a meeting with officials in Seoul. South Korea releases data on exports and imports on the first day of each month.

Still, Lee voiced concerns that South Korea's outbound shipments could face difficulties in the second half, citing a U.S. rate hike, a drop in oil prices as well as growing trade protectionism in the U.S. and China.

The U.S. Federal Reserve hiked the federal funds rate by 0.25 percentage point Wednesday, raising the target range for the benchmark rate from 1 to 1.25 percent, a level that's on par with South Korea's. It marks the Fed's second rate hike this year following one in March.

South Korea usually benefits from a U.S. rate hike as it leads to a stronger greenback, which makes South Korean exports more competitive in overseas markets.

But the U.S. rate increase can act as a drag on Asia's fourth-largest economy due to its possible negative impact on emerging countries, a major destination for South Korean goods.

In May, South Korea's outbound shipments came to US$45 billion, up from $39.7 billion tallied a year earlier, according to government data.

The country's exports have been on a steady rise since November led by an upturn in oil prices and recovering global trade.

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