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SME exports climb 3.6 pct in Feb.

All News 11:03 March 24, 2023

SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- Exports by South Korean small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) went up nearly 4 percent in February from a year earlier, the first on-year increase in six months, data showed Friday.

Local SMEs' overseas shipments stood at US$9.54 billion last month, up 3.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Small Business Institute.

It marked the first on-year expansion since August last year.

The institute attributed the February increase to two more working days and the weakness of the local currency to the U.S. dollar.

Yet local small businesses' overall production remained sluggish in February due to a global economic slowdown and weak domestic demand, it added.

Exports of ships, offshore structures and parts more than quadrupled last month, with those of autos surging nearly 94 percent.

In contrast, overseas shipments of petroleum products, steel plates and semiconductors fell 26.3 percent, 13.4 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively.

Exports to the United States rose 3.8 percent on-year in February, but those to Hong Kong, China and Vietnam declined 9.5 percent, 8.1 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.

In February, South Korea's overall exports fell 7.3 percent on-year to $50.1 billion due mainly to weak global demand for semiconductors amid an economic slowdown, marking the fifth consecutive month of decline.

The data also showed the combined SME workforce standing at 24.58 million as of end-February, up 201,000 from a year earlier, with their January production index shrinking 14.1 percent from a year earlier.

SME exports climb 3.6 pct in Feb. - 1


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