South Korean exports fall for seventh consecutive month

SEOUL, South Korea: In April, South Korean exports fell for a seventh consecutive month, their longest downward trend in three years.

Coming despite the reopening of the Chinese economy, a major market for South Korean exports – especially computer microchips – in December, the downturn increases pressure on policymakers in Seoul in their efforts to revive the economy after COVID-19.

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Trade ministry data released this week showed that exports from South Korea fell 14.2 percent year-on-year to $49.62 billion in April, coming after a 13.6 percent drop in February.

This worst decline in three months indicates a struggling domestic economy amid a potential global recession.

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South Korean exports to China dropped 26.5 percent, the 11th consecutive month of declines, while those to the US fell 4.4 percent, and those to the EU rose 9.9 percent, the data showed.

In a statement, the trade ministry said that the decline in exports was due to a weak global economy and a struggling semiconductor industry.

In April, imports to South Korea also dropped 13.3 percent to $52.23 billion following a 6.4 percent fall in March, the largest decline since August 2020, meaning that the trade deficit for that month was $2.62 billion, the 14th consecutive month that the country’s economy, which is reliant on exports, has experienced a monthly trade deficit.

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