Trade Figures Not as Bad as Feared Amid Coronavirus

  • By Choi Kyu-min

    March 24, 2020 09:57

    Korea's exports increased this month despite the disruption to global trade caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Korea Customs Service said on Monday exports amounted to US$30.7 billion in the first 20 days of March, up 10 percent on-year.

    Exports to major trading partners mostly increased -- by 33.6 percent to Hong Kong, 30.5 percent to Japan, 27.2 percent to the U.S., 18.3 percent to the Middle East, 13.5 percent to the EU, 12.1 percent to Vietnam and 4.9 percent to China.

    Shipments of mobile communications devices grew 26.6 percent, followed by semiconductors with 20.3 percent, cars with 13.7 percent and petrochemical products with 11.4 percent. But ships and display panels plummeted 49.6 percent and 16.7 percent.

    Imports rose 5.9 percent to $29.1 billion during the period. They grew 11.2 percent from China, 9.4 percent from Vietnam, 7.6 percent from the E.U., 2.4 percent from Japan and 1.3 percent from the U.S.

    The figures were not as bad as expected, as the outbreak has had a severely disruptive impact on both the demand and supply sides. However, export-dependent Korea is likely to be one of the biggest victims of the coronavirus if the pandemic continues to rage across the world. 

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