Korean exports to hit a record in 2021, Kita forecastsKorea's exports are expected to touch an all-time high in 2021 on brisk overseas demand for key products amid the global economic recovery, with their growth momentum likely to continue next year, a report said Monday.
The country's overseas shipments are projected to swell 24.1 percent from a year earlier to $636.2 billion this year, according to the report from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
Imports by Asia's fourth-largest economy are likely to amount to $605.7 billion, up 29.5 percent from the previous year.
Kita predicted South Korea's exports to increase 2.1 percent on-year to $649.8 billion in 2022, with imports forecast to inch up 1.6 percent to $615.4 billion.
Next year's solid export growth will be bolstered by strong overseas demand for South Korean chips, petrochemicals, displays, textiles, wireless communication equipment and other key products, it said.
In contrast, Korea's steel exports are likely to decline 9 percent in the coming year due to falling prices, with overseas shipments of auto parts, ships and home electronics estimated to suffer setbacks.
"Korea's exports are likely to keep their growth momentum next year amid the global economic recovery led by advanced economies," Kita said. "Yet, exports could be hampered by a disruption in the global supply chain, a slowdown in China's economic growth and rising inflation in major countries."
Kita expects South Korea's imports to inch up in 2022 due to high international prices of crude and raw materials.