Back To Top

S. Korea's exports down 9.4 percent in May on chips, China

South Korea's exports dropped 9.4 percent in May from a year earlier, extending their on-year fall for the sixth consecutive month, data showed Saturday, due mainly to the sluggish shipments of chips and the weak Chinese economy. 

Outbound shipments came to US$45.9 billion for May, down from the $50.68 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.  

The Gamman Container Terminal in the Port of Busan, South Korea (Yonhap)
The Gamman Container Terminal in the Port of Busan, South Korea (Yonhap)

Imports moved down 1.9 percent last month to $43.64 billion, the ministry added.  The country's trade surplus came to $2.27 billion in May, marking 88 straight months in which the country's exports have exceeded imports.

The surplus, however, narrowed from $5.13 billion and $4 billion posted in March and April.  South Korea's overall exports lost ground mostly due to semiconductors, the country's main export good, whose shipments fell a whopping 30 percent over the cited period, according to the ministry. 

Exports to China, the biggest trading partner for Asia's fourth-largest economy, also slipped 20 percent in May from a year earlier. 

The sound performance of rechargeable batteries, electric cars, and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, however, made up for some of the losses caused by chips and petrochemical goods, the data showed. (Yonhap)