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Korea’s August exports jump 34.9% to $53.2 billion 2021-09-02

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on September 1 that Korea’s exports in August saw a year-on-year expansion of 34.9 percent and recorded USD 53.2 billion, hitting the highest value for the month of August in history.

Imports jumped 44.0 percent to $51.6 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $1.7 billion.

Exports posted growth for 10 consecutive months. It is also the first time in 11 years that exports increased more than 20 percent for five straight months. Daily exports amounted to $2.3 billion, the highest value for the month of August on record.

It is the sixth consecutive month that exports exceeded $50 billion and recorded the highest value for the particular month at the same time.

Outbound shipments of all 15 major items recorded double-digit increases for the first time in history.

Exports of general machinery totaled $4.1 billion (up 23.5 percent) and increased for the 6th consecutive month. The demand for machine tools recorded growth, and exports of construction machinery to the United States (U.S.), the European Union (EU), Central and South America, and India are continuing to rise as major countries are investing in infrastructure to boost the economy.

Those of wireless communication devices spiked 62.2 percent to $1.4 billion, rising for 10 straight months. This is attributable to the launch of new foldable smartphones, which increased shipments to the U.S. and China and pushed up the average sales price (ASP) as well.

Bio-health products recorded $1.2 billion, up 17.1 percent from the same period last year. Korea’s biosimilar products continued to attract strong demand in the European and the U.S. markets. COVID-19 diagnostic kits also showed increased sales due to the delta variant. Exports to the U.S. and ASEAN more than doubled.

Secondary batteries gained 10.9 percent to $693 million as both supply and demand expanded. Shipments to the U.S. increased more than threefold.

Korean goods shipped to all nine major export destinations increased.

Exports to China advanced 26.8 percent to $13.9 billion and went up for 10 straight months on the back of chips, petrochemical products, and wireless communication devices.

Those to the U.S. amounted to $7.7 billion (up 38.1 percent) due to increases in general machinery, semiconductors, and secondary batteries.

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