South Korea’s exports fell 13.5 percent from a year ago in June this year, showing a negative growth for the seventh consecutive month. In the first half of this year, exports fell 8.5 percent.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on July 1 that South Korea’s exports totaled US$44.18 billion last month. The exports fell 1.7 percent on year in December 2018 and have shown no positive year-on-year growth since then.
The back-to-back decline is the longest since the period of January 2015 to July 2016. In the first half of this year, South Korea’s exports added up to US$271.55 billion to show a negative first-half growth for the first time since the first half of 2016, when the exports decreased 10.2 percent. South Korea’s imports totaled US$252 billion, down 5.1 percent from a year earlier, in the first half of this year.
Semiconductor exports dropped 25.5 percent last month. The unit price of the item fell 33.2 percent and that of DRAM chips plummeted by over 60 percent to more than offset an increase in export volume. Petrochemical, wireless communication device and display exports fell 24.5 percent, 23 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.
With the trade war between the United States and China lasting long, global trade conditions are deteriorating and the Chinese economy is slowing down fast, seriously affecting South Korea’s exports to China. The exports went down 24.1 percent last month and showed the steepest decline since May 2009, when the rate of decrease amounted to 25.6 percent.