Korea: exports progressed well in March, but the trade balance fell into deficit | Instantaneous


Export growth in March slowed to 18.2% year-on-year (from 20.6% in February)

Korean exports continued to grow solidly, albeit at a slower pace, despite worsening global supply chain disruptions. By item, the gain was broad-based, with 13 of the top 15 export items advancing, with the exception of motor vehicles (-9.7%) and ships (-35.9%). Computer products such as semiconductors (+38.0%), wireless devices (+44.5%) and displays (+48.3%) experienced rapid growth thanks to strong global demand and launching new products. In addition, exports of intermediate goods such as oil (+90%), petrochemicals (+14.8%) and steel (+26.9%) were strong mainly due to improved demand, as well as favorable price effects.

The weakness in car exports was caused by chip shortages, lockdowns in China and an earthquake-induced factory shutdown in Japan, which added to supply disruptions. In addition, the Russian-Ukrainian war played a role because cars are one of the main export products to CIS countries.

By destination, exports to major countries such as China (+16.6%), the United States (+19.9%), ASEAN (44.4%) and the Middle East (17.4 %) increased, while exports to the EU and CIS fell by -2.0% and -37.7%, respectively.

March imports rose 27.9% year-on-year (vs. 25.2% in February), mainly due to higher energy prices, as well as crude oil gains (+38.0% ), gas (+35.6%) and coal (+10.0%). ). Intermediate goods such as steel and memory chips for processed exports also rose sharply. Rising prices for intermediate goods will add upward pressure on global inflation with some time lag.


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