World Economy

S. Korea Exports Worst in 6 Years

S. Korea Exports Worst in 6 YearsS. Korea Exports Worst in 6 Years

Korea’s exports recorded $43.47 billion in October, down 15.8% from a year earlier to mark the sharpest fall in six years, the trade ministry said Sunday.

But ministry officials said monthly trade managed to post a surplus as imports on-year dropped 16.6% to $36.78 billion, Yonhap reported.

October marked the 10th consecutive straight month of export contraction and the 45th straight month of trade surplus.

The officials attributed the fall in exports to continued weak global demand and drops in shipments to the nation’s major trade partners like China and the US.

“Weak global raw material prices led to the decline in both prices of products and volume of products shipped abroad,” a ministry official said.

This is the greatest fall since August 2009, when exports nose-dived 20.9% due to the global financial crisis.  By product category, almost all major exported goods saw a decrease in outbound shipments, except for the latest models of smartphones.

According to the trade ministry data, Korea’s October exports decreased 44.9% for petroleum products, 31.6% for petrochemical goods, 7% for semiconductors and 63.7% for shipbuilding.

Car exports dipped 1.3% amid falling demand in emerging economies, and steel exports fell 29.6% due to falling prices of raw materials.

By region, exports to China, Korea’s largest outbound market, fell 8%.