The Korea Customs Service announced on July 22 that South Korea’s total exports added up to US$28.3 billion for the first 20 days of this month, down 13.6 percent from a year ago, and the average daily exports fell from US$2.05 billion to US$1.71 billion during the same period.
Under the circumstances, South Korea is likely to show a negative year-on-year growth in exports for the eighth consecutive month. From January 1 to July 20, South Korea’s exports fell 9 percent from a year earlier. From July 1 to July 20, its imports totaled US$28.7 billion, down 10.3 percent from a year ago.
Semiconductor exports, which account for more than 20 percent of South Korea’s exports, plummeted 30.2 percent on year this month after a 24.8 percent decline in the previous month. Likewise, petroleum product and ship exports dropped 15.6 percent and 24 percent, respectively.
Its exports to China, the United States, the European Union and Japan fell 19.3 percent, 5.1 percent, 12.3 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. Those to China, which account for more than one-fourth of South Korea’s total exports, showed a decline of 24.2 percent in June this year.
South Korea’s imports from Japan fell 14.5 percent for the first 10 days of this month after a 22 percent decline in May and a 13.9 percent decline in June. “It is still early to say that the ongoing boycott against Japanese products led to the decline in imports from Japan,” the Korea Customs Service explained, adding, “In the short term, the boycott is likely to result in an increase in inventory rather than a decrease in imports.”