Korea's exports continued to rise thanks to a global economic boom in February despite that the number of working days in the month decreased due to Lunar New Year Holidays. As a result, the export growth continued for the 16th month. However, it is forecast that it will be inevitable that exports will slow down such as a drop in exports to the US.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said on March 1 that exports rose 4.0 percent year on year to US$44.88 billion. Korea put up a good fight in export although some experts predicted that exports will turn for a drop as exports grew 20.2 percent in February of last year and the number of working days decreased by 2.5 days due to Lunar New Year Holidays.
As the global economy has improved, the increase in trade has had a positive impact on the industry. The major factors were the robust semiconductor industry and rising oil and main product prices.
Of the 13 main export items of Corporate Korea, five items -- semiconductors, ships, computers, petroleum products and petrochemicals –- recorded big rises in export. In particular, semiconductor exports rose 40.8 percent to US$9.01 billion. Semiconductors hit a new February export high along with computers (US$860 million, 29.5 percent).
By region, exports grew to Japan, the European Union, the ASEAN, India, China and Australia. In particular, exports to Japan (21.6 percent), the EU (17.8 percent) and Vietnam (14.2 percent) showed double-digit growth.
Korea’s imports rose 14.8 percent to US$41.57 billion. Korea’s enjoyed a surplus of 3,301 million dollars in trade while continuing to produce a surplus for 73 consecutive months.
On the other hand, exports to the US fell 10.7 percent year on year last month. Exports declined from the previous month due to a contraction in car consumption in the US and standby demand for new smartphone models.