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(LEAD) Exports down 10.1 pct during first 10 days of May

Economy 09:35 May 11, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES with details throughout)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports fell 10.1 percent on-year in the first 10 days of May, data showed Thursday, amid the prolonged downcycle of the global semiconductor industry.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$14.5 billion in the May 1-10 period, compared with $16.1 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Imports shed 5.7 percent on-year to $18.7 billion during the cited period, resulting in a trade deficit of $4.2 billion.

By sector, exports of chips plunged 29.4 percent over the period to reach $1.97 billion.

Those of petroleum and steel products slipped 40.1 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, on-year to reach $1.45 billion and $1.11 billion.

Outbound shipments of automobiles, on the other hand, more than doubled over the period to reach $1.34 billion.

By destination, exports to China, the top trading partner, slid 14.7 percent to $3.2 billion. Those to the United States, on the other hand, gained 8.9 percent to reach $2.5 billion.

Exports to the European Union added 11.5 percent to $1.6 billion, while those to Vietnam lost 9 percent to $1.3 billion.

As of Wednesday, the combined amount of trade deficit this year had reached $29.4 billion, accounting for more than half of the record-high annual trade deficit of $47.8 billion in 2022.

In April, South Korea's overall exports fell 14.2 percent on-year to US$49.6 billion.

Exports have logged an on-year fall since October last year amid aggressive monetary tightening by major economies to curb inflation. It was also the first time since 2020 that exports have declined for seven months in a row.

Containers are stacked at a port in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on May 10, 2023. (Yonhap)

Containers are stacked at a port in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on May 10, 2023. (Yonhap)


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