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Auto exports down 46 pct through mid-April amid pandemic

All News 14:00 April 21, 2020

SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports of automobiles plunged a whopping 45.8 percent in the first 17 days of April from a year earlier, data showed Tuesday, apparently as the new coronavirus pandemic disturbed the global supply chain and weighed down demand.

Outbound shipments of cars reached 48,800 units over the first 17 days of the month, falling sharply from 90,009 units posted last year, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The automobile output also slipped 19.2 percent over the cited period to 171,535 units, they showed.

Auto exports down 46 pct through mid-April amid pandemic - 1

The decrease came as car dealers in major markets, including the United States and European nations, suspended their operations this month amid the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing a harsh blow to sales of South Korean cars.

Some of the production lines have been also shut down, leading to the decrease in the overall domestic production, the ministry said.

"South Korea will continue to closely monitor the automobile industry, and come up with necessary measures to support related companies," Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo
said during a meeting with local carmakers and auto parts producers held Tuesday.

Automobiles are one of the major export items for Asia's No. 4 economy, accounting for around 8 percent of its overall outbound shipments in 2019.

colin@yna.co.kr
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