Korea’s exports dropped for the eighth consecutive month in July due to a slump in the global semiconductor industry and the prolonged U.S.-China trade dispute. Japan's restrictions on exports to Korea further dims Korea’s exports looks.
In July, Korea’s exports stood at US$46.14 billion, down 11 percent from the same period of last year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Aug. 1.
Exports have been on the decline for eight consecutive months since last December, the longest streak since the 19 months of downturn from January 2015 to July 2016.
Average daily exports based on the number of days of operation was US$1.845 billion, down 14.5 percent from the same period of last year.
By item, semiconductor exports fell 28.1 percent in July. Semiconductor exports grew 14.9 percent in volume terms, but were affected by a 37.7 percent plunge in unit prices.
Exports of petrochemicals (-12.4 percent) and petroleum products (-10.5 percent) also shrank. However, exports of the following items increased: cars (21.6 percent), car parts (1.9 percent), home appliances (2.2 percent), bio-health products (10.1 percent), cosmetics (0.5 percent) and agricultural and fishery products (8.7 percent).
By country, exports to China (-16.3 percent) decreased noticeably. China is Korea’s largest export market. Exports to the United States (-0.7 percent), Korea’s second largest export market also declined.
Exports to Japan decreased 0.3 percent from the previous year. However, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy analyzed that Japan’s export regulations did not fully impact Korea’s exports yet. Exports to Japan fell 6.0 percent in the first half of this year.