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Exports expand 24% to $55.6 billion in October 2021-11-01

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on November 1 that Korea’s exports expanded 24.0 percent year-on-year to USD 55.6 billion. Imports jumped 37.8 percent to $53.9 billion and the trade balance recorded a surplus of $1.7 billion, remaining positive for 18 months.

Exports in October marked the second highest value in history, and the cumulative exports for the first 10 months of 2021 exceeded those of the same period last year.

Average daily exports totaled $2.6 billion, up 24.0 percent. The export volume also increased 6.0 percent, indicating balanced growth and strong fundamentals for Korea’s exports.

By item, 18 out of Korea’s 20 export items posted growth.

Exports of semiconductors gained 28.8 percent to $11.2 billion despite slight decreases in DRAM prices. Strong mobile demand thanks to new smartphone models contributed to the growth.

Those of general machinery posted a 12.7 percent rise to $4.4 billion and increased for eight straight months. Shipments to the U.S., the EU, Central and South America and India all went up as the demand for machine tools increased significantly and major countries invested in infrastructure as a way of boosting the economy.

Meanwhile, automobile exports fell 4.7 percent to $3.8 billion. The decline is attributable to the supply disruption of automotive chips and the facility construction at a local production line. Shipments to the U.S., a major export destination, contracted.

Auto parts also slipped 1.2 percent to $1.8 billion as the capacity utilization rates at overseas plants have not normalized. Exports to the U.S. and the EU fell.

Shipments to all major export destinations increased.

Those to China advanced 24.9 percent to $14.4 billion and went up for 12 straight months on the back of strong sales of chips, petrochemical products, and display products.

The value of Korean goods shipped to the U.S. experienced a 22.9 percent growth to $8.1 billion thanks to general machinery, home appliances, and secondary batteries.

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