Export slump to continue without recovery in chip shipment: finance minister
By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's export slump will continue unless chip sales rebound, the finance minister said Thursday, amid the protracted downturn in outbound shipments of the mainstay product.
The country's exports decreased 7.5 percent on-year to US$50.1 billion in February, falling for the fifth consecutive month. It was the first time since 2020 that exports have declined for five months in a row.
The overall decrease came as exports of chips plunged 42.5 percent amid weak global demand following economic uncertainties.
"Without a rebound in the demand for chips, there will be limits in the recovery of exports for the time being," Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said during a meeting with economy-related ministers to discuss export issues.
Choo, however, noted it was still significant that exports of automobiles and rechargeable batteries gained ground last month.
Outbound shipments of cars soared 47.1 percent on the back of stronger sales of premium models, such as eco-friendly automobiles.
Exports of rechargeable batteries also advanced 25.1 percent on-year in February.
"We plan to further beef up the competitiveness of key industries, such as chips, rechargeable batteries and electric vehicles by securing next-generation technologies and fostering experts," Choo said.
South Korea will also continue to come up with follow-up measures to achieve its vision to double the country's annual exports of cultural content to reach $25 billion by 2027, compared with $12.4 billion estimated in 2021, Choo added.
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