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South Korea's exports bounce back in November

South Korea's exports (Yonhap)
South Korea's exports (Yonhap)
South Korea’s exports in November increased by 4 percent on-year to reach $45.8 billion, rebounding from a 3.8 percent decrease last month, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Tuesday.

The nation’s daily exports in November also marked a 6.3 percent rise on-year, the ministry said.

It is the first time since November 2018 that the nation posted increases in both monthly and daily exports.

The country’s exports, from March to August, posted on-year decreases due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The nation’s exports bounced back in September with a 7.3 percent increase, only to fall again in October by 3.8 percent on-year.

The Trade Ministry said the nation’s exports have surpassed the $40 billion bar for the third consecutive month. The ministry expected the upward momentum to continue down the road.

The latest rebound in exports was largely due to robust overseas sales of information and technology products, according to the ministry.

Exports of chips went up by 16.4 percent on-year to mark $8.5 billion, increasing for the fifth consecutive month. Memory chips accounted for some 19 percent of the nation‘s monthly exports last month.

The increase was contributable to strong demand in laptop computers and new mobile devices, the ministry explained.

The cumulative exports of chips as of November reached $27.2 billion, surpassing the record high for annual exports in 2018.

Outbound shipments of other IT products marked high increases, with displays increasing by 21.4 percent on-year to $1.9 billion. Exports of mobile devices jumped 20.2 percent to $1.4 billion as well.

Exports of automobiles continued to advance for the third consecutive month to $3.9 billion, backed by strong demand for sport utility vehicles and eco-friendly vehicle models.

Exports of petroleum products, however, fell by 50.6 percent on-year to $1.6 billion. It marked the third consecutive month for petroleum products to post a decrease of more than 40 percent.

South Korea’s exports of biohealth products soared by 78.5 percent on-year to $1.4 billion, backed by robust sales of COVID-19 test kits.

By destination, South Korea’s exports to its four major trading destinations all increased in November.

Outbound shipments to China climbed 1 percent on-year , while those to the US rose by 6.8 percent. Those to Europe and other Asian nations jumped by 24.6 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the nation’s imports fell 2.1 percent on-year to $39.8 billion in November, resulting in a trade surplus of $5.93 billion. South Korea underpinned a seventh consecutive monthly trade surplus.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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