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Brisk exports continue in first 10 days of 2022

A view of the container terminal at Busan Harbor on Tuesday (Yonhap)
A view of the container terminal at Busan Harbor on Tuesday (Yonhap)
SEJONG -- South Korea’s brisk export performance, which started in the fourth quarter of 2020 as a rebound or recovery, has continued during the first 10 days of 2022, state customs data showed Tuesday.

According to the Korea Customs Service, the nation’s exports reached $13.9 billion during the period of Jan. 1-10, up 24.4 percent compared to $11.2 billion over the same period of 2021.

By main item, outbound shipments of home appliances -- such as TVs, refrigerators, washing machines and vacuum cleaners -- surged by 154.9 percent on-year. Petrochemical products posted a 135.3 percent growth.

Among the next on the list were steel products with a 47.9 percent growth, auto parts with 29.4 percent, automobiles with 26.2 percent, semiconductors with 23.3 percent and computer devices with 18.7 percent.

In contrast, exports of vessels and mobile communication devices fell by 61.4 percent and 51 percent, respectively, on-year.

By export destination, shipments to China and the US increased by 22.6 percent and 35.1 percent, respectively. These two are the largest and second-largest trade partner of Korea.

As a noteworthy case, shipments to Singapore surged by 116 percent, while a 17.3 percent growth was seen in exports to Vietnam and 16.9 percent to Japan.

Though the growth of shipments to the European Union stayed at 3.8 percent, those to Malaysia, Taiwan and India increased by 62.6 percent, 44 percent and 43.8 percent, in turn. But shipments to Hong Kong declined by 23.4 percent.

The nation’s exports increased for 14 consecutive months, from November 2020 to December 2022. But the on-year growth has recently slowed down to 18.3 percent in December 2022, compared to 32 percent in November and 24.2 percent in October.

The Korea Customs Service said imports grew 57.1 percent to $18.8 billion during the corresponding 10 days of this year.

By item, coal and gas recorded a 395.2 percent and 392.5 percent climb in imports. The growth in inbound shipments of petrochemical products and crude oil reached 149.8 percent and 79.9 percent in the wake of a spike in international crude prices in the second half of 2021.

While Korea’ imports of semiconductors grew 28.4 percent, inbound shipments of automobiles inched up only 1 percent. Mobile communication devices recorded a 42.5 percent decrease.

The spike in crude prices caused a 356.9 percent jump in imports from Saudi Arabia. Shipments from China and the US increase by 39.5 percent and 70.2 percent.

Imports from the EU and Japan posted growth of 18.6 percent and 34.7 percent. Those from Australia and Russia surged by 193.5 percent and 101 percent.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)
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