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S. Korea's Sept. exports rebound on strong chip, auto shipments

All News 09:03 October 01, 2020

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports rebounded for the first time in seven months in September, data showed Thursday, helped by increased shipments of chips and automobiles as major trade partners gradually resumed their business activities amid the pandemic.

Outbound shipments came to US$48 billion last month, up 7.7 percent from $44.6 billion posted a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Imports edged up 1.1 percent to $39.1 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $8.8 billion.

The latest figures exceeded market expectations. According to a poll by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency, the country's September exports were expected to have increased 2.8 percent on-year.

S. Korea's Sept. exports rebound on strong chip, auto shipments - 1

Asia's fourth-largest economy had extended its slump in exports to a sixth month in August, as the new coronavirus around the globe continued to strain business activities.

The country enjoyed a 4.5 percent rise in its outbound shipments in February, the first on-year rebound in 14 months.

But the country's outbound shipments, however, fell again in March as the number of COVID-19 cases around the globe escalated, and the pace of decline further accelerated, plunging 25.5 percent in April and 23.6 percent in May.

South Korea's exports, which dropped more than 10 percent on-year in 2019, were earlier anticipated to rebound throughout 2020 on the back of the recovery in sales of memory chips.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, splashed cold water on that notion, straining the export-oriented economy.

The central bank data showed the economy shrank 3.2 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, the biggest on-quarter drop since a 3.3 percent retreat posted in the last three months of 2008.

colin@yna.co.kr
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