April 02, 2020 12:57
Korea's exports shrank in March, and the outlook is even gloomier for April due to the coronavirus pandemic in North America and Europe.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said exports fell 0.2 percent in March compared to the same month last year to US$46.9 billion. In February they grew 4.3 percent, shifting to growth for the first time in 15 months.
Average daily exports, which factor in the number of business days, plunged 6.4 percent in March even though there were three more working days last month than a year earlier.
Major exports performed poorly, with semiconductor shipments down 2.7 percent despite rising prices. A slowdown in consumption caused smartphone output to drop sharply, offsetting the benefits of rising chip prices, according to analysts. Exports of petrochemical and petroleum products fell nine percent and 5.9 percent due to plummeting global oil prices.
By region, exports to China fell 5.8 percent, to the U.S. 17.3 percent and to Europe 10 percent.
Chung In-kyo at Inha University said, "Factories around the world have been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, so Korean manufacturers have lost their main clients."
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