(LEAD) Auto exports hit 8-yr high in 1st half on popularity of eco-friendly cars
(ATTN: ADDS data for June, other details from 6th para)
SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's car exports reached an eight-year high in the first half of this year on the back of global popularity of eco-friendly cars, data showed Friday.
The value of outbound shipments of automobiles grew 3.2 percent on-year to US$24.35 billion during the January-June period, which marked the highest figure since 2014, when the number came to $25.23 billion, according to the data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
In terms of volume, a total of 1.07 million vehicles were sold during the cited period, up 1.5 percent from the previous year, it added.
Car exports marked the on-year growth despite unfavorable global circumstances, such as the crisis surrounding Ukraine and high inflation, the ministry said, adding the upbeat sales overseas were attributable to brisk demand for eco-friendly cars.
Exports of eco-friendly vehicles spiked 37.7 percent on-year to 251,878 units in the first half. In terms of value, sales jumped 42.7 percent on-year to reach $7.31 billion, the data showed.
Eco-friendly cars accounted for 30 percent of the country's total car exports in terms of value during the cited period, up 8.3 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the ministry.
Exports of auto parts also increased 1.7 percent on-year to $11.8 billion in the first half of this year thanks to the growth in demand from the U.S. and South American markets, the data showed.
Domestic production, however, decreased 2 percent on-year to 1.78 million units in the January-June period amid the continued shortage of automotive chips and supply chain instability amid China's lockdown of major cities over COVID-19 and other issues, according to the industry.
Domestic sales of automobiles also fell 11.3 percent on-year to 807,605 units in the first half amid the continued delay in deliveries and a high base effect, it showed.
In June alone, exports of cars lost 5.7 percent on-year to 173,061 units, and their value decreased 2.7 percent to $3.94 billion.
The fall came as truckers' strike last month had affected the shipment of vehicles, according to the ministry.
But exports of eco-friendly cars advanced 20.9 percent to 37,156 units in June, and their value surged 23.9 percent to $1.11 billion, the data showed.
Domestic production inched up 0.8 percent on-year to 328,360 units last month, while domestic sales went down 11.9 percent to 146,102 units, according to the data.
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