The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on March 1 that South Korea’s exports and imports added up to US$41.26 billion and US$37.15 billion in February this year with a year-on-year increase of 4.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
Although the monthly exports increased for the first time in 15 months, the average daily exports fell 11.7 percent from a year ago in the wake of the spread of COVID-19, dropping again after a 4.6 percent growth in January. Especially, South Korea’s monthly exports and average daily exports to China fell 6.6 percent and 21.1 percent year on year, respectively. Under the circumstances, uncertainties on the export side are rising to a significant extent.
Last month, the spread of COVID-19 seriously affected factory operation in China and the resultant component supply problems led to a 16.6 percent decline in South Korea’s automobile exports and a 21.8 percent decline in South Korea’s display exports. In addition, a decline in China’s crude oil demand and the resultant decline in oil price reduced South Korea’s petroleum product and petrochemical exports by 0.9 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.