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S. Korea's exports grow 16.7% in first 20 days of Feb.


South Korea's exports rose 16.7 percent on-year in the first 20 days of February on strong shipments of chips and autos amid the pandemic, customs data showed Monday.

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The country's outbound shipments stood at $30.4 billion in the Feb. 1-20 period, compared with $26 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Imports advanced 24.1 percent on-year to $31.6 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $1.21 billion, the data showed.

By sector, outbound shipments of memory chips, a key export item, increased 27.5 percent on-year during the cited period, and exports of autos jumped 45.9 percent.

Semiconductors accounted for about 20 percent of exports by South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory chipmaker, and its smaller rival SK hynix Inc.

But exports of petroleum products declined 5.7 percent on-year, and those of computers and related devices fell 4.8 percent.

By country, shipments to China -- South Korea's largest trading partner -- rose 32.7 percent, and exports to the United States gained 14 percent, the data showed.

The South Korean economy is on a mild recovery track on the back of improving exports amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January, exports, which account for half of Asia's fourth-largest economy, rose 11.4 percent on-year on the back of brisk demand for chips and autos.

Last year, exports fell 5.4 percent on-year due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a monthly basis, the pace of the slump has eased since June last year as global demand recovered following months of border lockdowns.

The finance ministry forecast the country's overseas shipments to grow 8.6 percent on-year this year on strong shipments of semiconductors and cars. (Yonhap)

Published : February 22, 2021

By : The Korea Herald/ANN