South Korea’s exports contracted at their steepest pace in nearly three years in February as demand from its major market China cooled further in yet another sign of faltering momentum in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
Overseas sales dropped 11.1 per cent in annual terms, the sharpest decline since April 2016 and marked the third month of falling shipments. A Reuters survey had predicted a 10.8 per cent decline for February.
“China-bound sales are tumbling especially as memory chip prices are falling. Looking ahead, export growth should remain weak in March but shrinking of exports should bottom out March or April as demand from China recovers on stimulus measures,” said Park Sang Hyun, chief economist at Seoul-based HI Investment & Securities.
The deepening export slump comes at a time of slowing global growth as the Sino-US trade conflict disrupts world supply chains in a blow to business investment and corporate profits.