SEOUL (REUTERS) – South Korea’s exports for the first 10 days of June soared 20.2 per cent from the same period a year earlier, raising hopes for a firm recovery in shipments for the trade-reliant economy as many countries lift stringent coronavirus lockdown measures.
The trade data, the first to be reported among major economies, might also signal a bottoming out in the virus-fuelled collapse of global demand.
The average exports per working day fell 9.8 per cent on-year, the Korea Customs Service data showed on Thursday (June 11). Imports jumped 8.5 per cent, after dropping 36.5 per cent for the same period in May.
“Its a positive sign for global demand. Although per-day exports declined, the fall is smaller and shows easing of global lockdowns is leading to higher demand,” said Moon Jung-hui, an economist at KB Bank.
“Note soaring chip sales. Chips are very sensitive to global recovery cycle so strong demand for it reflects global demand is improving,” Mr Moon said, adding Korean chips could also benefit from the renewed Sino-US tension as demand for made-in-China products could weaken.
Before June, exports tumbled for the third straight month through May, as extended global lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic weighed on worldwide demand.
Thursday’s data showed overseas sales of semiconductors, the nation’s top selling item, jumped 22.6 per cent in the first 10 days of June, while exports of mobile devices surged 35.8 per cent on-year.
Exports of medical items were up 136.7 per cent on-year, as the country has been fast to export test kits, face masks and other medical supplies after early success in containing the virus.
Destination wise, exports to China were up 35.7 per cent for the first 10 days, while that for the United States and Europe also surged 15.1 per cent and 22.2 per cent, respectively.
Read the latest on the Covid-19 situation in Singapore and beyond on our dedicated site here.
Get The Straits Times app and receive breaking news alerts and more. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now.
Source: Read Full Article