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SME exports expand nearly 14 pct in Q1

All News 13:36 April 18, 2022

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Exports by South Korean small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) swelled nearly 14 percent in the first quarter of the year despite the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Monday.

SMEs' overseas shipments stood at US$30.4 billion in the January-March period, up 13.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

It marks the highest first-quarter amount since related data tracking began in 2010. It was the second-highest quarterly tally after the $31.5 billion recorded in the last quarter of 2021.

In particular, SMEs' exports reached $11.2 billion in March, the largest-ever monthly figure.

SME exports expand nearly 14 pct in Q1 - 1

The strong first-quarter performance came amid a recovery in the global economy in spite of the prolonged coronavirus outbreak.

By product, exports of plastic products increased 6.2 percent on-year to $1.34 billion in the three-month period, with those of pharmaceuticals surging 12.3 percent to $1.34 billion.

Overseas shipments of auto parts edged up 0.6 percent to $1.09 billion, while exports of cosmetics goods sank 9 percent to $1.12 billion due to sluggish shipments to China.

Exports to China rose 5.3 percent on-year to $5.72 billion, and overseas shipments to the United States came to $4.45 billion.

Local SMEs' shipments to Ukraine, meanwhile, plunged 44.1 percent on-year to $37 million in the first quarter due to Russia's attack on the country, with exports to Russia rising 2.7 percent to $560 million.

Online exports amounted to $160 million in the first quarter, up 37.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data.

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