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(LEAD) Exports up 29.5 pct in first 20 days of June

All News 09:11 June 21, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details from para 3; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports rose 29.5 percent on-year in the first 20 days of June on the back of robust demand for chips, autos and petroleum products, customs data showed Monday.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$32.4 billion in the June 1-20 period, compared with $25 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Imports increased 29.1 percent on-year to $32.1 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $291 million during the cited period, the data showed.

This file photo, taken June 1, 2021, shows ships carrying containers docking at a port in South Korea's southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)

By sector, outbound shipments of memory chips, a key export item, rose 28.5 percent on-year, and those of autos jumped 62.2 percent despite global supply shortages of automotive chips.

Semiconductors accounted for about 20 percent of exports by South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory chipmaker, and its smaller rival SK hynix Inc. Autos made up around 7 percent of total exports.

Exports of petroleum products rose 58.6 percent on-year as oil prices picked up amid a global economic recovery. But shipments of ships fell 27.7 percent from a year earlier.

By country, shipments to China -- South Korea's largest trading partner -- rose 7.9 percent on-year, and those to the United States increased 41.3 percent.

The South Korean economy is on a recovery track on the back of robust exports and reviving consumption.

The country's exports are set to extend their gains to the eighth straight month in June. Overseas shipments, which account for half of the economy, jumped 45.6 percent in May from a year ago, the fastest on-year gain in 32 years.

Last year, the country's exports came to $512.8 billion, down 5.4 percent from the previous year amid the pandemic.

Last month, the Bank of Korea revised up its 2021 growth outlook for the Korean economy to 4 percent from its earlier forecast of 3 percent, citing solid export growth.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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