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(LEAD) Exports up 27.6 pct in first 20 days of Nov.

All News 09:20 November 22, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details from para 2; ADDS byline)
By Kim Soo-yeon

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports grew 27.6 percent on-year in the first 20 days of November on the back of robust demand for chips, ships and petroleum products, customs data showed Monday.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$39.9 billion in the Nov. 1-20 period, compared with $31.2 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Imports jumped 41.9 percent on-year to $39.8 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $73 million during the cited period, the data showed.

This file photo, taken Nov. 11, 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 32.5 percent on-year in the cited period.

Semiconductors accounted for about 20 percent of exports by South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory chip maker, and its smaller rival SK hynix Inc.

Exports of ships soared 252.2 percent as local shipbuilders have logged brisk orders. Those of petroleum products jumped 113.6 percent as oil prices remained high amid the global economic recovery.

Shipments of autos, meanwhile, declined 1.9 percent on-year amid a global shortage of automotive chips.

In the third quarter, the export growth of autos sharply slowed to 4.2 percent from a 71.9 percent on-year gain in the second quarter as the supply crunch of auto chips dented vehicle output. Autos accounted for some 7 percent of South Korea's exports.

By country, shipments to China, South Korea's largest trading partner, rose 24.2 percent on-year, and those to the United States gained 8.9 percent.

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

Exports, which account for half of the economy, grew 24 percent on-year in October, extending their gains for the 12th straight month.

The Bank of Korea forecast Asia's fourth-largest economy to grow 4 percent this year. The government forecast economic growth of 4.2 percent.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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