South Korean venture firms showed a negative export growth for the first time in five quarters.
The Korea International Trade Association announced on April 25 that local venture firms’ combined exports reached US$4.53 billion in the first quarter of this year with a year-on-year decline of 2.7 percent. During the same period, the overall exports of South Korean companies fell 8.5 percent.
South Korean venture firms’ total exports hit a record high of US$19.99 billion last year after the previous year’s US$18.16 billion. In addition, the rate of increase amounted to 10.2 percent in 2018, when the overall exports rose 5.4 percent. However, the venture firms’ exports fell 0.5 percent and 3.8 percent year on year in February and March this year, respectively.
The worsening situation is because the venture firms’ exports to the Greater China region dropped. Last month, those to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan fell 9.6 percent, 27 percent and 21.2 percent from a year earlier, respectively. On the other hand, those to the United States and Vietnam rose 2 percent and 16.8 percent.
Previously, those venture firms’ annual exports were estimated to top US$20 billion this year. However, it is becoming less and less likely with South Korea’s total exports already having fallen for the fourth consecutive month.