Exports continue to struggle through first half

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Exports continue to struggle through first half

Korea’s exports are faring badly this year, the government warned Tuesday.

From Jan. 1 to June 20, Korea’s exports hit $222.1 billion, down 11.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS).

Korea’s exports have contracted for 17 months in a row, the longest slump since 1970, when the government started to compile data in the current form.

Exports managed to fall by only a single digit in May, an improvement over recent months.

But from June 1 to 20, exports were $25.7 billion, down 12.8 percent compared to the previous year, compared to an 11.2 percent fall in April and 6 percent last month.

An official from KCS pointed out that there were some areas that performed well this month.

“Exports of telecommunication parts rose,” said Seo Jae-yong, a director at KCS. “While the figure for electronic integrated circuits dropped this month by 9.1 percent, exports to Vietnam grew significantly.”

Seo added there were two fewer business days in June compared to last year, and exports actually rose 0.6 percent if that factor is considered.

Exports of telecommunication parts to Vietnam in first 20 days of this month rose 339.1 percent compared to the same period last year. For electronic integrated circuits, exports to Vietnam and Hong Kong rose by 44.7 percent and 33.6 percent respectively.

BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]
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