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(LEAD) Exports up 14.1 pct in first 10 days of July

All News 09:18 July 12, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details from para 3; ADDS photo)
By Kim Soo-yeon

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports rose 14.1 percent on-year in the first 10 days of July on the back of robust demand for chips, autos and petroleum products, customs data showed Monday.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$15.1 billion in the July 1-10 period, compared with $13.2 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

The country's exports are set to extend their gains to the ninth straight month in July if the current pace continues. Overseas shipments, which account for half of the economy, jumped 39.7 percent on-year in June.

Imports increased 33.3 percent on-year to $19 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $3.9 billion during the cited period, the data showed.

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

By sector, outbound shipments of memory chips, a key export item, rose 15.6 percent on-year, and those of autos increased 19.3 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 jumped 54.2 percent on-year as oil prices have risen amid a global economic recovery.

By country, shipments to China -- South Korea's largest trading partner -- inched up 1.6 percent on-year, and those to the United States increased 32.2 percent.

The South Korean economy has been on a recovery track on the back of robust exports and reviving consumption. Asia's fourth-largest economy contracted 0.9 percent last year due to the fallout of the pandemic.

Last month, the government revised up its 2021 growth outlook for the Korean economy to an 11-year high of 4.2 percent from its earlier forecast of 3.2 percent. The Bank of Korea expected economic growth of 4 percent.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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