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(LEAD) Exports rise 24.4 pct in first 10 days of Jan.

All News 09:18 January 11, 2022

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

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports grew 24.4 percent on-year in the first 10 days of January on the back of solid demand for chips, cars and petroleum products, customs data showed Tuesday.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$13.9 billion in the Jan. 1-10 period, compared with $11.2 billion the previous year, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Imports jumped 57.1 percent on-year to $18.9 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $4.95 billion during the cited period, the data showed.

This photo, taken Jan. 1, 2022, shows stacks of containers at a port in South Korea's southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)

This photo, taken Jan. 1, 2022, 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 23.3 percent on-year.

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 petroleum products soared 135.3 percent on-year as oil prices remained high amid the global economic recovery.

Shipments of autos gained 26.2 percent despite a global shortage of automotive chips. Autos accounted for some 7 percent of South Korea's exports.

By country, shipments to China, South Korea's largest trading partner, rose 22.6 percent on-year, and those to the United States increased 35.1 percent.

Asia's fourth-largest economy is on a recovery path on the back of robust exports.

Exports, which account for half of the economy, grew 18.3 percent on-year in December last year, extending their gains to the 14th straight month.

For all of 2021, exports rose 25.8 percent from the previous year to hit a record high of $644.5 billion. The total trade volume also reached an all-time high of $1.26 trillion last year.

The government earlier forecast exports will remain robust in 2022, though the growth pace will slow due to the base effect. The finance ministry expects overseas shipments to grow 2 percent this year.

The Bank of Korea forecast the South Korean economy will expand 3 percent this year after the estimated 4 percent growth last year. The finance ministry expects the Korean economy to grow 3.1 percent in 2022.


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