On Monday, data revealed that South Korea’s exports declined by 16.5% year-on-year during the first 20 days of August due to weak sales of chips and petroleum products. The nation’s exports totaled $27.9 billion between August 1st and 20th, compared to $33.3 billion in the same period last year, according to the Korea Customs Service.
Imports also dropped 27.9% year-on-year to $31.4 billion during this time, resulting in a trade deficit of $3.6 billion. This follows a ten-month consecutive decrease in exports in July, primarily due to reduced demand for semiconductors, though the country did report a trade surplus for the second month in a row.
Since October 2020, exports have been steadily declining as a result of the monetary tightening of major economies to combat high inflation and economic slowdown. This is the first time since 2020 that exports have decreased for nine consecutive months.
Shipping containers are stacked high at a port in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in this file photo taken Aug. 1, 2023. (Yonhap)