(ATTN: UPDATES with details throughout)
SEJONG, July 21 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports experienced a 15.2 percent year-on-year decrease during the initial 20 days of July due to the extended slump in the chip industry, according to data released Friday.
The country’s exports totaled $31.2 billion during the period of July 1-20, compared to the $36.8 billion reported in the same timeframe last year, as reported by the Korea Customs Service.
Imports also declined 28 percent year-on-year to $32.6 billion, leading to a trade deficit of $1.36 billion.
Chip exports, a major component of the Asian economy, plummeted 35.4 percent year-on-year to $4.3 billion.
Automobile exports, however, skyrocketed 27.9 percent to $3.43 billion.
Steel and petroleum product exports dropped 15.2 percent and 48.7 percent to $2.43 billion and $2.27 billion, respectively.
Exports to China, the top trading partner, decreased 21.2 percent to $6.34 billion due to the delayed effects of its reopening.
Shipments to the United States fell 7.3 percent to $5.76 billion, while exports to the European Union decreased 8.3 percent to $3.59 billion.
Shipments to Vietnam decreased 22.6 percent to $2.66 billion.
In June, South Korea’s exports decreased 6 percent year-on-year to $54.24 billion, indicating that the country’s exports may rebound in the second half of the year. The nation reported a trade surplus for the first time in 16 months in June.
South Korea’s full monthly export report is released on the first day of each month. As of Thursday, the combined trade deficit for this year had reached $27.8 billion. Exports decreased 12.6 percent year-on-year to $338.4 billion.