South Korea’s exports fall on low export price

Seoul, Aug 1 (IANS) South Korea’s exports fell for seven months due to soft global demand and low export price, caused by cheaper oil and oversupply, a government report said on Saturday.

Exports, which account for about half of the economy, declined 3.3 percent from a year earlier to $46.61 billion in July, posting the downward trend for seven straight months, Xinhua reported.

The July exports increased 7.8 percent on a yearly basis after gaining 10.8 percent in June, but lower export prices and oversupply led to a decline in exports value, ministry of trade, industry and energy said.

Imports tumbled 15.3 percent from a year earlier to $38.83 billion in July, maintaining the falling trend for 10 months in a row.

In terms of value, exports of oil products and petrochemicals plunged 28.1 percent and 17.2 percent each due to low crude oil prices that lead to a decline in oil-related export prices.

Shipments of automobiles and telecommunication devices slumped 6.2 percent and 16.0 percent each, with those for computers, consumer electronics and general machinery retreating 6.5 percent, 17.5 percent and 6.3 percent respectively.

Exports to China and the US, South Korea’s top two trading partners, rose 6.4 percent and 1.8 percent respectively in July, with those to Japan and the European Union growing 28 percent and 5.6 percent each.

The ministry said that profitability among exporters improved last month on the South Korean currency’s descent to the dollar and rising export volume, but it forecast that export value would continue to fall for the time being due to the weak global demand.


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