South Korea’s exports rise 3.9% in the first 20 days of August

South Korea Customs Office South Korea’s exports rose 3.9% year-on-year from August 1-20 as demand for South Korean petroleum products and automobiles remains strong in the international market.

Export sales increased 3.9% to $33.4 billion compared to the same period last year, when they were $32.2 billion.

Imports increased 22.1% year on year to $43.6 billion during this period. As a result, South Korea recorded a trade deficit of $10.2 billion. This is an increase of $3.6 billion compared to the same period last year.

South Korea relies on energy imports to meet domestic demand. Crude oil imports increased by 54.1% and coal imports by 143.4% in the first 20 days of August.

Broken down by type of export products, it was found that exports of petroleum products increased by 109.3% year-on-year during this period.

Meanwhile, car exports increased by 22% despite a shortage of chips for car manufacturing. Auto exports account for about 7% of South Korea’s total exports.

Semiconductor exports decreased by 7.5% year-on-year. Given the decline in chip prices, semiconductor exports accounted for around 20% of total South Korean exports.

Exports to China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, fell 11.2% year-on-year in the first 20 days of August, while exports to the U.S. rose 0.8%.

In the first 20 days of August, South Korea recorded a trade deficit with China of $667 million. If the current trend continues, this could result in South Korea recording a trade deficit with China for the fourth consecutive month in August.

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