Exports surge 34.9 percent in August as chip exports hit record
It is the 10th consecutive month in which exports increased on year and the sixth consecutive month in which exports exceeded $50 billion.
In the first eight months of the year, total exports were $411.9 billion. It is the first time in which the $400 billion mark was reached in eight months.
The achievement raises the possibility of Korea’s exports hitting a record full year.
In 2018, exports in the first eight months were $399.7 billion, led by strong demand for semiconductors. That year, exports set a record of $604.9 billion.
The ministry said that global trade is in recovery but warned that risks remain.
“There are worries over risks including the spread of the variants and volatile raw material prices,” said Moon Dong-min, deputy minister for trade and investment, referring to Delta and other Covid-19 variants.
August’s exports were led by semiconductor exports, up 43 percent year-on-year to $11.7 billion as demand for computer chips remained strong.
Exports of semiconductors in August hit a record. Semiconductor exports increased for 14 consecutive months, and the rate of increase has been double digit for five months.
Petrochemical goods exports surged 81.5 percent to almost $5 billion and a new record as crude prices rose and demand remained strong.
Wireless telecommunication equipment exports were up 62.2 percent year-on-year to $1.4 billion helped along by the rollout of new phones.
Exports from new industries, including those involved in the making of electric vehicles (EV) and biopharmaceuticals, were strong. EV exports surged 130.8 percent, while biopharmaceutical exports grew 17.1 percent.
EV exports have been increasing for 12 consecutive months and biopharmaceutical exports for four.
Exports to China, Korea’s largest market overseas, were up 26.8 percent, the United States 38.1 percent, the EU 41.6 percent, Asean 27.2 percent and Japan 44 percent.
Exports of wireless communication devices to China surged 375.9 percent in part due to the sale of devices from Samsung Electronics.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [email@example.com]