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Korea’s exports in April jump 41.1% to $51.2 billion 2021-05-03

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on May 1 that Korea’s exports in April jumped 41.1 percent to USD 51.2 billion. Imports expanded 33.9 percent to $50.8 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $388 million.

Exports in April recorded the sharpest year-on-year growth since January 2011. This is a noticeable improvement, way above the base effect from last year’s contraction (down 25.6 percent). The export value exceeded $50.0 billion for two months in a row, marking the highest value for the month of April in history.

Daily exports (up 29.4 percent) also went up for seven straight months, showing double-digit growth for the third consecutive month.

Fifteen major export items all experienced increases, and outbound shipments to all nine major export destinations advanced.

Korea’s 20 major export items all recorded growth: semiconductors, displays, general machinery, petrochemicals, automobiles, steel products, petroleum products, ships, auto parts, bio-health products, wireless communication devices, computers, textiles, plastic products, agricultural products and fisheries, fine chemical materials, cosmetics, secondary batteries, home appliances, and robots.

Chip exports went up for 10 straight months and gained 30.2 percent to $9.3 billion in April. Stronger demand for memory chips at data centers and increased memory chip prices due to the prolonged global supply shortage led to the expansion.

Automobiles spiked 73.4 percent to $4.1 billion. Despite supply chain risks for automotive semiconductors, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and eco-friendly vehicles attracted robust demand, resulting in double-digit increases in exports to major regions such as the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU).

Shipments of wireless communication devices soared 79.7 percent to $1.5 billion.

By destination, outbound shipments to all major regions expanded.

Exports to China amounted to $13.4 billion, up 31.7 percent. This is largely attributable to stronger sales of chips, petrochemicals, and general machinery.

Those to the U.S. showed a 43.0 percent growth to $7.5 billion thanks to automobiles, home appliances, and general machinery.

Korean goods shipped to the EU totaled $5.2 billion, increasing 43.0 percent on the back of ships, auto parts, and petrochemicals.


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