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Auto exports down 6.4 pct in January amid lack of automotive chips

All News 11:00 February 15, 2022

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's automobile exports fell more than 6 percent in January from a year earlier due to a global shortage of automotive chips and a high base effect, data showed Tuesday.

Outbound shipments of automobiles came to 179,709 units last month, down 6.4 percent from the previous year, according to the data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

In terms of value, however, exports rose 2.3 percent to US$4.09 billion last month.

"A high base effect, the temporary shutdown of some production lines for facility construction and a supply crunch of semiconductors for automobiles appeared to have affected the exports," the ministry said in a release.

In January 2021, the country saw solid growth in exports of cars by selling 192,073 units overseas.

The growth came as overseas shipments of eco-friendly vehicles surged 36.8 percent to 44,877 units, the highest figure for any January.

The value of such cars also spiked 39.8 percent to reach a monthly high of $1.26 billion, the data showed.

Overseas shipments of auto parts also advanced 14.2 percent on-year to $2.06 billion in January, according to the data.

By company, Hyundai Motor Co., the leading local player, saw its exports fall 5.5 percent to come to 77,342 units due to the continued chips supply disruptions.

But Kia Corp. reported a 6.1 percent growth in its monthly exports by selling 79,000 units.

The bestselling model in overseas markets in January was Hyundai's Kona SUV, followed by its Avante sedan and Kia's Niro.

Meanwhile, the production of automobiles decreased 15 percent on-year to 271,054 units last month amid the supply shortage of automotive chips, and domestic demand also dropped 27.6 percent on-year to 111,294 units, the data showed.

This undated file photo provided by Hyundai Motor shows cars rolling off the assembly line at a factory. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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