Exports from South Korea saw their worst losing streak in three years in April, falling for a seventh straight month. This sustained decline in sales to China suggests that the economy is still under constant pressure from weak global demand.
The decline occurs despite China’s economy reopening in December, which is a significant market for South Korean products, particularly chips. This presents a problem for policymakers as they work to ensure a strong post-COVID resurgence.
Data from the commerce ministry revealed on Monday that the fourth-largest economy in Asia saw overseas sales decline 14.2% year over year to $49.62 billion in April, following a 13.6% decline in February and exceeding the 13.5% decline predicted in a Reuters survey.
It confirmed recent indications that the local economy is failing to run at full strength in the face of declining global growth. It was the worst decrease in three months.
According to a breakdown of the statistics, exports to China fell 26.5% for the 11th month in a row, while exports to the United States fell 4.4% for the first time in three months. European Union shipments increased by 9.9%.
Exports of semiconductors fell 41.0% by product, continuing a nine-month losing streak. Automobile sales increased 40.3% while petroleum products declined by 27.3%.
A delay in the global economic recovery and weakness in the semiconductor industry, as well as fewer working days and high base effects, were to blame for the decline, according to a statement from the commerce ministry.
Following a 6.4% decline in March, imports fell 13.3% to $52.23 billion in April, which was also a faster decline than the 10.6% that economists had predicted. The decrease was the most since August 2020.
As a result, the nation reported a $2.62 billion trade deficit in April, the smallest since June but the 14th consecutive month the export-dependent economy had a monthly trade deficit.
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