South Korea's Exports Rise for Third Straight Month in December, But Growth Slows

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog02-01-2024

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South Korea's exports rose for a third straight month in December, but at a slower pace as weak Chinese demand for Korean goods offset strong growth in global semiconductor sales, data released on Monday showed.

Exports from Asia's fourth-largest economy rose 5.1 % to $57.66 billion in December, slowing from a 7.7 % increase in November and down from a 6.6 % rise in a Reuters poll of economists.

Export data from Asia's fourth-largest economy is a much-watched gauge of global trade momentum.

Policymakers are pinning their hopes on an export recovery as high borrowing costs and sticky inflation lead to subdued consumer spending, with the economy expected to expand by 2.1% in 2024.

Chip exports turned a corner in November, growing for the first time in 16 months as the slump in semiconductor demand began to ease.

Chip exports jumped 21.8% year-on-year in December, after surging 12.9% the previous month.

Exports to China fell 2.9% year-on-year.

Imports fell 10.8% year-on-year in December, which was better than the 11.4% drop in the poll and followed an 11.6% decline in November.

This resulted in a preliminary trade surplus of $4.48 billion in December.

Exports fell 7.4 % for the year 2023 as restrictive monetary policies in many countries and China's economic slowdown weakened demand for Korean goods, the trade ministry said.

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