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(2nd LD) S. Korea's exports set to fall for 9th straight month in August

10:07 August 21, 2019

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SEJONG, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports are set to extend their slump to a ninth month in August, hurt by a decline in outbound shipments of semiconductors, data showed Wednesday.

The country's exports declined 13.3 percent in the first 20 days of August from a year earlier to US$24.9 billion, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service.

South Korea's exports fell 11 percent on-year to $46.1 billion in July, extending their on-year decline for the eighth consecutive month amid a lengthy trade war between the United States and China, and a drop in chip prices.

If the trend continues, it would mark the ninth month in a row that South Korea's outbound shipments have fallen on a yearly basis.

By product, exports of semiconductors, a key export item for Asia's fourth-largest economy, slipped 29.9 percent on-year in the first 20 days of August, the data showed.

Outbound shipments of petroleum products and auto parts fell 20.7 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

The data also showed that South Korea's exports to China and Japan fell 20 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively.

Adding to the woes of the U.S.-China trade dispute, Japan's recent export curbs against South Korea are casting a cloud over the Korean economy.

Starting in July, Tokyo began implementing tougher restrictions on South Korea-bound shipments of three key materials vital for the production of semiconductors and displays.

South Korea's imports of Japanese goods fell 8.3 percent on-year in the first 20 days of August, according to the data.

Overall, South Korea imported goods worth $26.7 billion in the 20-day period, down 2.4 percent from a year earlier.

This undated file photo shows containers carrying export goods stacked on piers in the southeastern city of Busan, South Korea's largest port city. (Yonhap)


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