The Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced on June 16 that total exports of South Korean small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) added up to US$9.3 billion last month with a year-on-year growth of 0.7 percent. The value is a 14-month high since US$9.5 billion in March 2018. Likewise, the number of exporting SMEs increased 1.7 percent to 45,113.
Their exports to China increased 5.8 percent and 4.5 percent on year in April and May this year, respectively. The volume dropped 5.7 percent in January and 20 percent in March 2019 due to a Chinese economic recession and a decline in unit price in the semiconductor sector. However, Chinese display manufacturers placed more orders in April and May. South Korean SMEs’ exports to the United States and Vietnam rose for the fifth consecutive month last month.
Still, their export performance is falling short of that of last year. For the first five months of this year, their cumulative exports totaled US$42.8 billion, down 1.4 percent from a year earlier. This is because the volume fell 3.8 percent in February and 8.5 percent in March in spite of a 2.4 percent increase in April and 0.7 percent increase in May.