MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exports fell for a second consecutive month in November while Korea's trade balance was negative for an eighth month as energy imports remained high and semiconductor exports dropped dramatically, said Koreanherald.
Strikes by truckers and railway workers could make the situation worse. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, Korea’s exports in November fell 14 percent year-on-year to USD51.9 billion.
Through November, Korea's exports for the year totaled USD629.1 billion, up 7.8 percent on year and a record.
Imports last month grew 2.7 percent year-on-year to USD58.9 billion. Imports have been growing for 12 consecutive months.
The trade deficit for November was USD7 billion. “The prices of semiconductors, which is a key export item, have continued to fall,” said Moon Dong-min, deputy minister of trade and investment. “The base effect of a 31.9 percent year-on-year increase in exports in November 2021 also affected last month’s export drop.”
The trade ministry official noted that the truckers strike has also played a significant role. “Basically there has been a significant decline in export cargos carried in and out of our ports,” Moon said. “This indicates that export activities are not operating normally.”
The official said at this point it is difficult to give a specific figure for the damage that had been caused by the trucker strike or quantify the impact. While the deputy minister stressed Korea has fared relatively well, with exports set to break last year’s record, the biggest risk factor is the trucker strike.
“On top of the difficult situation that our exporters are facing amid global economic stagnation, an impact on exports will be inevitable for December if the truckers continue to refuse to deliver,” Moon said. Semiconductor exports fell 30 percent year-on-year to USD8.5 billion. Chips are Korea's biggest export category.
Ship exports declined 68.2 percent to USD1.1 billion, while computer exports fell 50.1 percent and petrochemical exports were down 26.5 percent. Steel export fell 10.6 percent. Automobile exports grew 31 percent to USD5.4 billion, and petroleum goods exports were up 26 percent to USD4.9 billion.
By market, exports to the United States continued for the 27th straight month, rising 8 percent to USD8.8 billion.
Exports to the EU rose 0.1 percent to USD5.3 billion. Exports to China fell 25.5 percent to USD11.4 billion, while exports to Asean shrunk 13.9 percent to USD9 billion. Exports to Japan dropped 17.8 percent to USD2.3 billion.
Energy continued to be a major contributor to the increase in imports. Last month, imports of crude oil, gas and coal totaled USD15.5 billion, which is a 27.1 percent increase on year.
The accumulated import total for the three energy sources in the first 11 months was USD174 billion, a 75 percent increase.
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