Exports rebound 1.3 percent in June

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Exports rebound 1.3 percent in June

Korea’s exports rose last month, snapping three months of declines, after a weaker won fueled overseas sales even as China’s growth slowed and Europe’s debt crisis deepened.

Overseas shipments rose 1.3 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said yesterday, after a revised 0.6 percent decline in May.

Korea announced 8.5 trillion won ($7.4 billion) of economic support measures Thursday and cut its growth outlook, citing Europe’s “long-term threat” to the nation’s expansion. The Bank of Korea kept borrowing costs unchanged for a 12th month last month and the ministry today cut its estimate for export growth this year.

“Korean exporters are coping with the European crisis with a weaker currency and by diversifying their products and markets,” said Kong Dong-rak, a fixed-income analyst at Taurus Investment & Securities.

The won has fallen about 6 percent over the past 12 months. It strengthened 0.8 percent to a seven-week high of 1,145.40 against the dollar Friday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as European leaders made progress in aiding indebted countries.

Korea’s imports fell 5.4 percent in June from a year earlier and the trade surplus for the month was $4.96 billion, yesterday’s data show.

The Knowledge Economy Ministry also cut its estimate for export growth this year to 3.5 percent from a January projection of 6.7 percent, citing a slowdown in major economies. It now expects the value of overseas shipments this year to reach $574.5 billion from a previous estimate of $595 billion.

Imports may increase 5 percent to $551 billion this year, down from a previous forecast of an 8.7 percent gain to $570 billion, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, nearly half of Korean exporters predict their overseas shipments in the second half will be no better than the first six months of the year due to the global economic slowdown, a poll showed yesterday.

According to the survey by the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 45.2 percent of 500 exporters said their business conditions in the July-December period will be similar to the first half, while 33 percent said their exports will grow in the second half of the year.

Bloomberg, Yonhap

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