The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on April 1 that South Korea’s exports totaled US$46.91 billion last month, down 0.2 percent from a year ago, after a 4.3 percent increase in February, which was the first positive growth in 15 months.
Last month, the average daily exports fell 6.4 percent to US$1.95 billion. For reference, the daily average dropped 11.9 percent to US$1.83 billion in February this year.
Semiconductor exports fell 2.7 percent in March after having increased by 9.4 percent, the first positive growth in 15 months, in the previous month. The decline in March is attributable to the substantial decline in smartphone and PC shipments posted in the first quarter.
In addition, petrochemical exports decreased 9 percent and petroleum product exports fell 5.9 percent with international oil prices plunging. Specifically, the export unit price of petroleum products dropped 33.1 percent year on year to US$50 per barrel and that of petrochemical products fell 17.6 percent to US$1,000 per ton.
Ship, display, steel and textile exports decreased 31.4 percent, 12.8 percent, 6.5 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively. On the other hand, computer, wireless communications equipment and automobile exports rose 82.3 percent, 13.3 percent and 3 percent, respectively.