The Korea Herald


Q1 exports outlook rosy: poll

By Yonhap

Published : Dec. 6, 2020 - 11:05

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South Korea's exports (Yonhap) South Korea's exports (Yonhap)
A majority of South Korean exporters expect their business conditions to improve in the first quarter of next year on the back of the growing hope over the post-pandemic economic recovery, a survey showed Sunday.

The country's export business survey index (EBSI) for the January-March period in 2021 came to 112.1, according to a survey carried out by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

It marks the first time since 2017 that the EBSI has exceeded 110. A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists, while a reading below the benchmark means the opposite. The survey was carried out on 967 exporters.

The improved sentiment was mostly attributable to an expected recovery in shipments of chips, petrochemical goods and automobiles, the survey showed.

Exporters, however, expected weaker global demand for electronics and agricultural goods during the January-March period.

Last week, KITA also said South Korea's exports are set to rise 6 percent in 2021 as pandemic-hit economies are expected to gradually recover.

Outbound shipments are estimated to be valued at $538.2 billion in 2021, compared with this year's estimated $507 billion, the data showed.

In November, South Korea's exports rebounded 4 percent on-year in the latest sign of a possible recovery down the road. Outbound shipments dipped more than 10 percent on-year in 2019, due to a slump in the global chip market coupled with the trade feud between the world's top two economies.

Throughout 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a harsh blow on exports. Outbound shipments fell a whopping 25.6 percent in April, followed by another crash of 23.8 percent in May.

After extending that slump to a sixth month in August, they rebounded 7.3 percent in September but edged down 3.8 percent in October. (Yonhap)