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S. Korea suffers sharper export drop than other OECD members

Industry 09:30 March 24, 2019

SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has suffered a sharper drop in exports than other OECD member countries, due largely to its heavy dependence on semiconductors and petrochemical goods, data showed Sunday.

According to the data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, South Korea's exports dipped 5.9 percent in January compared with a year earlier, coming in 26th out of the 32 OECD member countries in terms of export growth pace.

Among 17 members of the Group of 20, South Korea's January exports performance ranked 15th.

The exports were further thrown into a deeper hole in February, with the country's outbound shipments nose-diving 11.1 percent.

The country's exports now have sunk for three straight months. In December, the country suffered a 1.7 percent drop in its exports due to a base effect and a slump in chip exports.

"Despite sluggish global trade, South Korea suffered a sharper decline in its exports than other countries as its dependence on chips is too high," a Bank of Korea official said.

The BOK official also cited a slump in exports of ships and chemical goods as the other reasons for the poorer-than-expected results.

In January, the country's exports of chips sank 23.3 percent on-year, with outbound shipments of ships and petrochemical goods falling 17.8 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

"But we cautiously expect chip sales in overseas markets and demand for new ships to improve down the road," the BOK official said.

This undated photo shows containers carrying goods for export stacked on the piers of South Korea's largest port city of Busan. (Yonhap)

sam@yna.co.kr
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